Title chases go to Kyalami

Title chases go all the way to the wire at AA Kyalami. Some of the closest title races in recent championship memory will be settled at round 12 of the Vodacom Power Tour, the final national meeting of the season, at AA Kyalami on November ...

Title chases go all the way to the wire at AA Kyalami.

Some of the closest title races in recent championship memory will be settled at round 12 of the Vodacom Power Tour, the final national meeting of the season, at AA Kyalami on November 23.

Only a handful of title issues have already been settled, and it is going to be a nervous weekend for those involved in unfinished business. Adding to the drama of the situation is the fact that a number of championships still to be settled could not be closer.

Already sitting pretty are Formula Ford champion Morne Jurgens and Shaun van der Linde (Castrol van der Linde Racing BMW) and Charl Wilken (Team Castrol Toyota) who have already clinched the Class A and Class B titles in the South African Production Car Championship. Van der Linde and Wilken, however, still have a little to sweat over in that they are the only candidates in with a chance of winning the South African Saloon Car Drivers Championship.

The advantage lies with van der Linde who needs only two points from the day to secure back to back titles. For the rest of the title challengers in the Production Car series, however, it will be white knuckle time.

In the Junior Drivers championship only four points separate the three top contenders. Jody Powell (Opel Corsa – 91), Philip Kekana (Sasol Toyota Tazz – 90) and Dave Compton (Toyota Tazz – 87) will slug it out with Miguel Pasqualli (Honda Ballade) and Darren Murphy (VW Golf), locked together with 78 points, still in with a mathematical chance.

In Class C only two points separate Honda Ballade rivals Ian Long and Lawrence Boshoff, while in Class D a good weekend last time out at AA Kyalami saw Kekana open up a 12 point lead over Pasqualli. Powell, Compton and Murphy will also lock horns in Class E, and the situation lends itself to some desperate racing.

Other good performances last time out at AA Kyalami could also prove to be enough for Johan Fourie (Sasol Supervan Racing Ford Mustang), Tschops Sipuka (Engen VW Polo Classic) and Russell Wood (Vodacom Nashua Yamaha) to put the finishing touches to winning the Wesbank V8, Engen VW Cup and SA Superbike titles. Fourie has a comfortable 39 point lead over Ben Morgenrood in the Wesbank stakes, Sipuka a tenuous 14 point advantage over Silvio Scribante in the Engen VW Cup, and Wood needs just five points to wrap up a 12th national motorcycle title ahead of Trevor Crookes.

While Jurgens is in the happy position of being able to race for pure enjoyment on November 23, the runners-up berth is still up for grabs in the Formula Ford championship. A double at AA Kyalami on November 2 brought Jonathan du Toit within five points of Brett Mayberry with Stephen Morris, who crashed heavily at the Midrand circuit, also still in the picture.

The waters in the Vodacom Sports Car title race are still a little murky. The results of the November 2 outing at AA Kyalami are under protest, and will be sorted out in the Motorsport South Africa boardroom.

In the Vodacom Sports 2000 development category, there is also a close fight. Just four points separate Kearn Francis, Morne Edas and Devan Moonsamy and there could also be fireworks in this department.

It all adds up to a finale that is loaded with the potential for drama. All the ingredients are there for outstanding entertainment and somewhere along the line you can expect the unexpected.

Current championship positions:

Wesbank V8 Championship
1 J Fourie 288; 2 B Morgenrood 257; 3 L Wilford 228; 4 R du Plessis 207; 5 F de Matteo 161.

SA Production Cars
SA Saloon Car Drivers Championship -- 1 S van der Linde 149; 2 C Wilken 130; 3 I Long 103; 4 L Boshoff 101; 5 M Steyn 99. SA Junior Drivers Championship: 1 J Powell 91; 2 P Kekana 90; 3 D Compton 87; 4 M Pasqualli and D Murphy 78; 5 D de Villiers 67. Class A -- 1 S van der Linde 146; 2 M Briggs 81; 3 E van der Linde 56. Class B -- 1 C Wilken 130; 2 M Steyn 89; 3 M Cronje 89. Class C -- 1 I Long 103; 2 L Boshoff 101; 3 C Alchin 67. Class D -- 1 P Kekana 90; 2 M Pasqualli 78; 3 D de Villiers 67. Class E -- 1 J Powell 91; 2 D Compton 87; 3 D Murphy 78.

Formula Ford
1 M Jurgens 130; 2 B Mayberry 75; 3 M du Toit 70; 4 S Morris 64; 5 G Cronje 38.

Engen VW Cup
1 T Sipuka 210; 2 S Scribante 196; 3 G Nathan 169; 4 M Stephen 92; 5 F Scribante 75.

Vodacom Sports Cars (Under protest -- positions as at November 2)
1 B Tilanus 231; 2 N Lobb 212; 3 D Roscoe 207; 4 G Ferreira 171; 5 A Eve 168.

Vodacom Sports 2000
1 K Francis 49; 2 M Edas and D Moonsamy 46; 3 S Manquele 16; 4 R Jaffer 15.

SA Superbikes
1 R Wood 331; 2 T Crookes 296; 3 S Macleod 266; 4 N Haarhof 188; 5 A Moodley 179. Privateer -- 1 N Haarhof 356; 2 G Ramsay 275; 3 R Cragg 230; 4 G Norris 219; 5 J Barson 163.

-aa racing-

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Series General
Drivers Darren Murphy