Van der Linde takes South Africa Saloon Car Championship The finishing touches were applied to a couple of championship issues at the Vodacom Roadshow national meeting at Zwartkops, just west of Pretoria, on Saturday. Chief among the title...
Van der Linde takes South Africa Saloon Car Championship
The finishing touches were applied to a couple of championship issues at the Vodacom Roadshow national meeting at Zwartkops, just west of Pretoria, on Saturday.
Chief among the title races to be settled saw Shaun van der Linde clinch the South African Production Car Championship, with the former Touring Car champion adding another trophy to the van der Linde family treasure chest. Van der Linde (Castrol Van Der Linde Racing BMW) went to Zwartkops with an 11 point lead over nearest challenger Cor Kraamwinkel (Goldi Chicken Opel Kadett) in the championship, with both drivers already having clinched the Class A and Class E titles in the Midas Production Car Championship.
Victory in the first heat gave van der Linde an unassailable lead in the overall championship, although there was a touch of good fortune in his win. Van der Linde skidded off the circuit when he hit oil dropped by Mike O'Sullivan's (KW Subaru Impreza), but managed to avoid hitting the safety wall.
The incident, however, dropped van der Linde behind team-mate Mike Briggs. On the last lap Briggs let van der Linde through for the win, with the Port Elizabeth driver rewarded with a win in race two ahead of van der Linde and Gavin Kelsey in the Kaye-Eddie BMW.
The Class B title issue was settled prior to the Zwartkops outing with Curt Alchin (Total AMG Honda Ballade) crowned champion. The Zwartkops wins went to Alchin's team-mates Gavin Cronje and Clint Weston, with the Total AMG Honda trio dominating Class B proceedings after Toyota's withdrawal from the Midas series.
There was a desperately close finish to the Class C championship. Former motorcycle star Lawrence Boshoff (Orbit Honda Ballade) won both heats but missed out on the championship by a single point.
A sixth in race one, when he was also a victim of hitting oil and sliding off the circuit, and a second were enough to see Randburg youngster Bert Grogor home by the skin of his teeth. Like van der Linde young Grogor comes from a racing family with father Klaus a former Formula Atlantic driver.
Two wins in the Delta Parts Opel Corsa were not enough to see Stephen Taylor home in the Class D championship. Team-mate Leeroy Poulter went to his home circuit with a slight championship lead over Taylor, and two seconds were enough for Poulter to claim the Class D honours.
Kraamwinkel settled the Class E issue just after the midway point in the season, and privateer Dave Compton in a Toyota ended the season on a winning note. Kraamwinkel needed to win both Class E races - with van der Linde needing to run into trouble - to stand a chance of lifting the overall championship, and it was never going to be an easy mountain to climb.
The Vodacom Sports Protype event also saw Germiston driver George Ferreira apply the finishing touches to the championship. A second and a win settled matters with Ferreira finishing second to Neil Lobb in race one.
Ferreira then went out and won race two ahead of Lobb. Clive Kennerley, winner of the penultimate round of the championship, the two hour long distance race at AA Kyalami, finished third in both races.