Essa Takes First Victory The second round, of the 2010 Execuline South African National Formula Vee Championship, saw Development Driver, Zaahir Essa, secure the first victory of his Formula Vee career, when he won both heats, at the Execuline...
Essa Takes First Victory
The second round, of the 2010 Execuline South African National Formula Vee Championship, saw Development Driver, Zaahir Essa, secure the first victory of his Formula Vee career, when he won both heats, at the Execuline Historic Tour Aucor Race Day, at Midvaal Raceway.
The first heat, started in dramatic fashion, with a three car pile up at Turn One. Newcomer Keegan Campos (Campos Transport Rhema 2) underestimated the concertina effect, on the field, as everyone braked for the ninety degree left hander and Campos went over the top of Paul Venter (Lantis) before crashing into log leader Nicholas Tennant (Tennant Life Benefits Rhema 2). Those behind where also delayed, by the incident and by the end of the first lap, it was Symm Grobler (Auto Mecca Rhema 2), who led from Essa (NLDTF Rhema 2), Peter Hills (MLS Brokers Rhema 2) and Johan Gouws (Indwe Risk Services Mantis). The four of them where well ahead of the rest of the field, after the first corner incident and they where followed across the line, by Alan Eustice (Execuline Rhema 2), Hugo Wallendorf (Lantis), Ben Pienaar (BJ Pro Welding Silverton Plating Rhema 2), Jannie Geyser Snr (Vision) and Nico Blignaut (Gilus IT SAP Rhema 2) who was one of the worst affected, by the first corner incident. He was however, not in as bad a shape as Tennant who came through in last place and although he would pick off a few of the back markers, over the next few laps, Tennant pulled in to retire, at the end of the fifth lap, while Campos and Venter had both failed to complete a lap.
For a while, there was a good three car battle, involving Pienaar, Geyser and Blignaut, with the three of them catching Eustice, as the race progressed. Having his second Formula Vee race, Mark Stewart (Direction Group Rhema 2) had to fight off the attentions of another newcomer Hano Van Der Spy (Vision), while the other debutant, lady driver Tasj Van Dyk (Body Art SA Omega), had to be content to circulate on her own. Some of the cars, where however looking increasingly twitchy, exiting Turn One and eventually, it was Mile Stewart (Direction Group Rhema 1) who threw it away completely, when the car swapped ends and he splashed across the wet outfield, coming to a standstill, millimeters from the tire barrier.
Grobler had led for a while, before Essa slipped past. Behind Essa, Grobler and Hills then traded places for a while and the four of them remained locked in battle, swapping positions at the head of the field, for most of the race. Then Grobler made a do or die effort, to out brake everyone, at the end of the main straight, in the closing stages of the race. It did not come off and at the checkered flag, it was Essa, who took the victory, from Hills, Gouws, Grobler, Geyser Snr, Eustice, Blignaut, Pienaar, Henk Swanepoel, having his first outing, in his brand new Rhema 2, Wallendorf , Mark Stewart, Van Der Spy and Van Dyk.
The second heat, saw Essa and Hills fighting out a race long duel, for first place, This time, Grobler and Gouws where left to fight it out among themselves, for third and fourth place, while the other feature of the second heat, was the drive up through the field, by Tennant and Venter. One by one, they picked off those ahead of them, as the two of them circulated, nose to tail. Venter, even managed to pass Tennant but when Tennant was able to pass Geyser Snr, in the closing stages of the race, Geyser Snr was able to respond and keep Venter behind him, to the flag.
At one stage a good close battle had developed, between Pienaar, Blignaugt and Swanepoell who was getting the hang of the new car and eventually Swanepoel passed both of them and caught Eustice who must have then been involved in a incident, or picked up a problem and Eustice then fell back, down the order.
Out front, Hills was still looking for a way past Essa but then Hills' gearbox packed up, on the last lap and while the rest of the field went through, to take the flag, Hills coasted to a standstill, at the entrance to the pit lane, There where however no such problems for Essa who took his second victory of the day, comfortably ahead of Grobler and they where followed home, by Gouws, Tennant, Geyser Snr, Venter, Swanepoel, Pienaar, Blignaut, Eustice, Campos and Wallendorf. Hills, picked up twelfth place, one lap down, with Van Der Spy and Van Dyk, completing the finishers.