Vodacom Speed Festival AA Kyalami report

Roscoes Win Dramatic Vodacom Two Hour The Vodacom Speed Festival Two Hour Endurance event at AA Kyalami today produced more than a fair share of drama, with the race stopped for nearly an hour after a massive accident at one of the fastest ...

Roscoes Win Dramatic Vodacom Two Hour

The Vodacom Speed Festival Two Hour Endurance event at AA Kyalami today produced more than a fair share of drama, with the race stopped for nearly an hour after a massive accident at one of the fastest sections of the Midrand circuit.

After the restart the race was again plagued by minor incidents. A big thunderstorm with 18 minutes of the race still to run, finally forced race officials to stop proceedings.

The stop/start affair, with the race open to seven different categories of saloon and sports cars, produced a desperately close finish.

Unofficial scoring with a couple of protests expected over whether or not some crews made compulsory pit stops, gave victory to the father and son combination of Harry and Donovan Roscoe, in a Vodacom Sports Prototype Canam Shelby, with the pair completing 46 laps. The race result was decided by combining times up to the first stoppage, with times set after the restart.

The Roscoes were only 17 seconds ahead of the Sascar Chev Monte Carlo of Rob Beaumont and Deon Auby. Third was another Sascar entry with Grant van Schalkwyk and Zane Pearce, in a second Chev Monte Carlo, only four seconds behind Beaumont and Auby.

Brothers Clive and James Kennerley, who were leading in a Vodacom Sports Prototype Shelby Canam at the time of the first stoppage, were fourth with Toby Venter rounding out the top five in the Porsche GT2. The first four cars were all on the same lap, with Venter and five other cars a lap down.

The drama started just after the halfway mark when the Subaru Impreza driven by journalist and racer Michele Lupini, and the Vodacom Sports Prototype Shelby Canam driven by Neville Jordan, touched on the entrance to the 190 km/h plus Havoline Sweep. The two cars slid across a gravel trap with the Shelby Canam launched over safety railings to land on a tyre barrier.

Jordan’s car caught fire and started a blaze in the tyre barrier. A desperately lucky Jordan managed to jump clear of the Canam Shelby which was completely gutted, with Jordan and Lupini taken to Sunninghill Hospital for observation.

After running the cars behind the safety car for 10 laps, the race was stopped while the fire in the tyre barrier was brought under control. With AA Kyalami fire and rescue vehicles geared to handle race car fires, the fire was finally put out with the aid of a tender from Sandton.

There was a further delay while the tyre barrier, for safety reasons, was rebuilt. After a delay of more than an hour the race was restarted with cars forming up on the grid in positions they held after 75 minutes of the race.

At the time of the stoppage the Roscoes were in sixth place after a steady run. They continued to circulate steadily when the race got underway again, and managed to hold off late charges by Beaumont/Auby, van Schalkwyk/Pearce and the Kennerleys.

Earlier in the day a one hour endurance race for motorcycles was won by East Rand pair Gavin Ramsay and Graeme van Breda on a Yamaha. Ramsay and van Breda, who both compete in the national Superbike series, completed 31 laps.

This left them a lap clear of Noel Haarhof and Mike Dickinson, on a Suzuki, with Donovan Fourie and Rob Davies another lap behind in third place on a second Suzuki. Ramsay and van Breda were never out of the top three, but took control 10 minutes from the end when race leader Hudson Kennaugh, sharing a Yamaha with Jason Wessels, slid off the circuit.

-VR/AA Racing-

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