SASCAR: debuts in front of huge crowd

Huge crowd watch SASCAR series debut Barry de Klerk Dismal weather, including a howling gale and a threat of rain, did not deter tens of thousands of fans who came to Aldo Scribante to see a varied program which included Touring Cars, Group N,...

Huge crowd watch SASCAR series debut

Barry de Klerk

Dismal weather, including a howling gale and a threat of rain, did not deter tens of thousands of fans who came to Aldo Scribante to see a varied program which included Touring Cars, Group N, FGTi and FVee. They saw an action packed day of racing at the tight Port Elizabeth circuit, highlighted by a double Nissan victory in the Touring Cars and the debut of the long awaited and much delayed SASCAR series.

Qualifying

SASCAR's first pole winner was Wesbank V8 (Transam SA) star Ben Morgenrood in 1:04.729, followed by former sportscar ace George Fouche and former touring car racer Kosie Swanepoel. Grant van Schalkwyk and SASCAR Managing Director Peter Lindenberg completed the top 5. <pre> Top qualifiers were:

Driver Time Speed Miles per Hour

Ben Morgenrood 64.729 137.929km/h 85.72mph

George Fouche 65.121 137.099km/h 85.21mph

Kosie Swanepoel 65.841 135.599km/h 84.28mph

Grant van Schalkwyk 65.865 135.379km/h 84.24mph

Peter Lindenberg 65.948 136.050km/h 84.14mph

Race

Polesitter Ben Morgenrood turned out to be the class of the field on raceday, leading from start to finish in both heats. He was able to pull out a lead comfortably in between pace car periods. Behind him though, there was plenty of action.

In heat one George Fouche spun out of second place, enabling Kosie Swanepoel to take the place. After a pace car period he, like Fouche earlier, spun out at the Firestone sweep, nearly taking two cars with him. He finally ended up 12th, while Fouche recovered to 2nd followed by Grant van Schalkwyk.

Heat two again saw Morgenrood take the lead followed by Fouche with Grant van Schalkwyk following. Depite two pace car periods this is the way positions stayed, although several spinners livened up proceedings.

As a warm-up to the season proper the two races set the scene for an exciting series. Although the cars are very slow in the tight parts of Aldo Scribante, they were certainly impressively fast down one of the longest straightaways in South Africa, hitting the brakes a long way before turn 1. Kosie Swanepoel 's donuts also helped to warm up the cold and windblown crowd.

The series proper starts in 4 weeks time at the East London Grand Prix circuit, with the most spectacular high speed bends in South Africa.

<pre> Results:

Heat 1

1. Ben Morgenrood

2. George Fouche

3. Grant Van Schalkwyk

4. Jean-Jac Maree

5. Neville Rossouw

Heat 2

1. Ben Morgenrood

2. George Fouche

3. Grant Van Schalkwyk

4. Kosie Swanepoel

5. Justin Price

Fastest Lap

Kosie Swanepoel 65.623 136.050 km/h 84.56mph

Barry de Klerk bj@cyberhost.co.za

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers George Fouche , Peter Li