The penultimate round of the 2003 South African National Formula Vee Challenge, takes place at the East London Grand Prix Circuit, on Saturday 25 October and will be crucial to a number of driver's Championship aspirations. The event also includes races for the V8 SASCAR series, the DK Porsche Cup, Historic and Classic Cars and Regional Saloons. Having run all of this year's races, on the Oval at the Wesbank Raceway, the Sascar series will be running on their first road circuit, in just over year and it will be interesting to see how well the drivers adapt. Hopefully, the Porsche Cup field will include the mighty Frans Pretorius 956, which should be an awesome site, down the long East London Straight.
Statistically, David Veringa (#3 Sabat Rhema), Alan Holm (#2 Johannesburg Bright Steels Rhema), Symm Grobler (#4 Auto Mecca Rhema 2), Peter Hills (#8 Vacuform Rhema), Dennis Johns (#12 Goldco Midas Rhema 2) and Jody Robertson (#5 PS23 Lubrioil Rhema), still have a chance to claim the 2003 title but this list should be drastically reduced, by the time they make their way home from East London. Veringa obviously holds the advantage but as he discovered, in the Regional Championship event at Midvaal a couple of weeks ago, anything can happen and a comfortable points advantage, can easily be wiped out by a retirement. Ironically, the favorites to win the race, come from the bottom of the list. In his new car, Johns has become the man to beat, in the latter part of the season, while Robertson heads to East London, having convincingly won both heats, at the recent Midvaal event. These were the first victories, of his three year Formula Vee career, for the seventeen year old Pretoria matric student and he will obviously be keen to repeat the performance, in East London.
There have already been six different race winners in the category, so far this year and the possibility of ex Champion Anthony Taylor (#77 Vacuform Rhema), adding his name to that list in East London, cannot be ruled out. Competing for the other points scoring positions at East London, will be the likes of Jaco Schriks (#6 Johannesburg Bright Steels Sting), Ben Pienaar (#17 BJ Pro Welding Rhema), Development Driver Benny Phetla (#19 Vacuform Rhema) and Cape Town's Doug Mac Donald (#37 Rhema). An unknown quantity, in the event, will be the Cape Town based year 2000, 125 GP National Kart Champion Luc Luchessi, having his first race in the ex Wilfred Brand Rhema and he could well end up, mixing it with the leading Championship contenders. Driving further than anyone, to get to East London, will be the Limpopo Province based Formula Vee newcomer John Lerm, in the #55 Save the Jackal Sting.
Only meters from the beach, and the pounding surf of the Indian Ocean, the picturesque Mercedes Benz Grand Prix circuit, home of the South African Grand Prix until 1965, lends itself to good close slipstreaming battles, while the fearsome, high speed Potters Pass Bend, really sorts the men from the boys and is legendary, in South African motor racing circles.
<pre> Current Points Standings: 1 David Veringa 170 6 Jody Robertson 115 2 Alan Holm 149 7 Ernest Viljoen 91 3 Symm Grobler 143 8 Anthony Taylor 72 4 Peter Hills 138 9 Wayne Bennett 59 5 Dennis Johns 118 10 Jaco Schriks 52