More Title Issues To Be Settled As Vodacom Roadshow Moves To Cape Town With the season winding to a close, more championship issues will be settled when the Vodacom Roadshow moves to the Killarney circuit in Cape Town on November 17. Chief...
More Title Issues To Be Settled As Vodacom Roadshow Moves To Cape Town
With the season winding to a close, more championship issues will be settled when the Vodacom Roadshow moves to the Killarney circuit in Cape Town on November 17.
Chief among these will be the Wesbank V8 Championship where super hero Sarel van der Merwe will be looking to clinch only his fourth circuit title - as opposed to 11 SA rally championships - in an illustrious career. Midrand driver Graeme Nathan is likely to also put the finishing touches to his first Engen VW Cup championship, and the Killarney faithful will be able to pay homage to Greg Dreyer who has already clinched the Dark Dog Superbike title.
Also on the programme will be the final round of the Formula GTi national challenge, with an attractive array of regional categories completing the bill of fare. It adds up to a meeting that has plenty of potential for drama.
Van der Merwe, out in the ageing Sasol Ford Mustang, has not done much winning in the latter part of the season, but takes with him to Killarney a precious 25 point lead over local star Johan Fourie in the M and D Transport Ford Mustang. Fourie has carved his way through the championship since joining the series a third of the way into the season, and now leads Ben Morgenrood (Auto Trader Ford Mustang) by two points.
There is also a good battle going on for fourth and fifth in the championship. Just one point separates Larry Wilford (Fuchs Ford Mustang) and Willie Hepburn (Chev Camaro), with Fourie the young lion in among old timers in the top five.
Supervan would love to clinch the championship in style and win both heats. Recent results, however, point to van der Merwe taking the conservative approach, and driving for the points that will give him the title.
Fourie will be the overwhelming favourite to win, but apart from the threat posed by the experienced old timers, there will be top opposition in the form of local favourite Deon Joubert and Shaun Watson-Smith, in the Petronas Opel Astras, and Hennie Groenewald in another Chev Camaro.
On the VW Engen Cup front, Nathan (Ciro VW Polo) has a comfortable lead over Tschops Sipuka in the Engen VW Polo. Former champion Derrick Irving is a lonely third in the series, with another former champion, Marthinus Briers, and Grameme Donker locked together in fourth place.
Like van der Merwe, Nathan has not done much winning just lately. Consistency has kept him at the front of the pack and, like the old maestro, he will be content with gathering in the points he needs to settle the championship issue.
In previous season Dreyer (Autopage Cellular Honda) has ruined promising championship campaigns by crashing far too often. This season, however, Dreyer has been both fast and reliable, and the combination has made him a worthy champion.
With Robbie Petersen moving into second place in the championship, it has been a good season for the Autopage Cellular Honda team. Trevor Crookes (UUNET Ducati) has also had a consistent season to move into third in the series, while multiple champion Russel Wood and Lance Isaacs will be disappointed with the way things have gone for the Vodacom Nashua Yamaha squad.
Midrand youngster Dale Knez will be another looking to put the finishing touches to a successful campaign. He leads the Formula GTi championship ahead of experienced Barry Ingle.
Knez also has the luxury of being able to settle for good points finishes rather than victories. The pressure is on Ingle and the da Cunha brothers, Marco and Paolo, but they face a mountain that looks likely to be a little too steep.