Zwartkops, South Africa, race notes

A packed house, a few surprises and a dominant performance from a "newcomer" provided some of the highlights at the Vodacom Roadshow meeting, sponsored by Sasol Dual Fuel, at the official opening of the new Zwartkops Raceway over the...

A packed house, a few surprises and a dominant performance from a "newcomer" provided some of the highlights at the Vodacom Roadshow meeting, sponsored by Sasol Dual Fuel, at the official opening of the new Zwartkops Raceway over the weekend.

The meeting featured three national championship categories with veteran Ben Morgenrood (Hillbank Ford Mustang) moving to the top of the Wesbank V8 championship. A bad day at the office for Sarel van der Merwe, who could only manage a fourth and an eighth in the Sasol Ford Mustang, saw West Rand veteran Morgenrood leapfrog into the championship lead.

Honours on the day, however, belonged to "newcomer" Johan Fourie (MD Transport Ford Mustang) who won both heats in his first Wesbank outing. The lanky and talented Capetonian, who also leads the SASCAR championship, was always in control and took heat one ahead of Morgenrood, Larry Wilford (Fuchs Ford Mustang), van der Merwe and Shaun Watson-Smith in the Petronas Opel Astra.

Fourie repeated the dose in heat two, and again came home ahead of Morgenrood. Third this time around went to Riaan Botma (Chev Camaro) ahead of Wilford and Derek van Blerk with van der Merwe struggling home in eighth place.

It was also a good day for Sasol Formula Ford Championship leader Jonathan du Toit in the Big Z Van Diemen. Racing on his home circuit du Toit scored a double and increased his overall lead in the series.

The opening race saw du Toit come home with a three second advantage over Brett Mayberry (Mygale). Du Toit's brother Mark turned it into a good day for the family with third place ahead of Martin Robinson and Morne Petersen.

Race two gave the elder du Toit a four second win over Morne Jurgens (Jurgens Truck Hire Mygale) and Mayberry. Mark du Toit was fourth this time around while the wins in the non-Zetec category were shared by Kempton Park driver Brian Greyling (van Diemen) and Pretoria veteran Andy Brown in a Royale.

Two tight Engen Volkswagen Cup events saw Midrand driver Graeme Nathan increase his lead in the championship - and also provided Louis Trichardt driver Stanley Thompson with his first win. A second - ahead of Iain Pepper and Derrick Irving - and a third saw Nathan extend his championship lead to 19 points with the Midrand driver just over a second behind Thompson in heat one.

It was much closer in heat two with Thompson less than a second behind Tschops Sipuka, the rising Eastern Cape star, with Nathan a consistent third. Two-time champion Marthinus Briers, also from the Eastern Cape, and Clint Singh were fourth and fifth with both Engen Volkswagen Cup outings providing for plenty of close racing

-CF

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Series Road racing
Drivers Sarel van der Merwe