PE Victories for Thompson and Grobler Round four of the 2004 South African National Formula Vee Championship, run at the Aldo Scribante Circuit in Port Elizabeth, produced the fourth winner of the year, when Lee Thompson took his Rhema to ...
PE Victories for Thompson and Grobler
Round four of the 2004 South African National Formula Vee Championship, run at the Aldo Scribante Circuit in Port Elizabeth, produced the fourth winner of the year, when Lee Thompson took his Rhema to victory, in heat one. Continuing his current run of good fortune, Symm Grobler (Auto Mecca Rhema 2) then went on to pick up the win in the second heat, after race leader Jody Robertson (Rhema) and Jaco Schriks (Johannesburg Bright Steels Rhema 2), touched wheels on the run down to the Sweep.
Heat one saw Thompson out drag the field, from pole position but his lead was short lived, as Schriks went to the front for the first time in his Formula Vee career, followed by Thompson, Alan Holm (Johannesburg Bright Steels Rhema 2), Robertson, Grobler and Trevor Smith (Lafarge Readymix Rhema 2). Further back, Benny Phetla (Vacuform Rhema) had passed Bradley Martin (Rhema 2) early on and he continued to hold the advantage, until his engine cover came lose and he was forced pit and have the cover removed, before rejoining the race.
Into the closing stages of the race Grobler picked up a position, when he disposed of Robertson who was battling with the handling of his car, after a wrong choice of tyre pressures but out front, it was Thompson who held on to win the race, from Schriks, Holm, Grobler, Robertson, Smith, Martin and Phetla.
In heat two, Thompson was very slow away from the line and it was Robertson who took the lead, from Schriks, Grobler, Smith, Holm and Thompson. As the race progressed, Schriks stayed in touch with the leader, while Grobler and Smith kept close company, not far behind and any hope that Thompson had of recovering from his poor start, took a further knock, when he and Holm exchanged paint and dislodged their nose cones.
Although the racing was close, the positions up front remained fairly static. Then toward the end of the penultimate lap, Schriks pushed his nose up along side Robertson's back wheel, as they crossed back to the right hand side of the circuit, between the Hairpin and the Sweep but Schriks' left front wheel hit Robertson's right rear wheel and they both went off, handing first and second place, to Grobler and Smith. Schriks resumed in third place but by the time that Robertson got going again, he was down to sixth place, some twelve seconds adrift of Thompson and another chance to achieve that elusive first National race win, was lost.
The result was another bonus for Grobler, as he crossed the line 0,088 of a second, ahead Smith, who was followed closely by Schriks, Holm and Thompson, as the first five cars crossed the line, in less than a second! Robertson was next, followed by Martin and Phetla.