Holm Takes Championship Lead with Double Win at WesBank Raceway With a double win, at the WesBank Raceway's Auto Dealer Racing Spectacular, Alan Holm (JBS Lasersprint Rhema 2) has taken a one point lead, in the 2006 South African National ...
Holm Takes Championship Lead with Double Win at WesBank Raceway
With a double win, at the WesBank Raceway's Auto Dealer Racing Spectacular, Alan Holm (JBS Lasersprint Rhema 2) has taken a one point lead, in the 2006 South African National Formula Vee Championship, as he seeks to defend his title. Second place, in both races, went to Holm's JBS Lasersprint Team Mate Jaco Schriks and although they dominated the second heat, after Peter Hills (Vacuform Rhema 2) and Symm Grobler (Auto Mecca Rhema 2) tangled at Turn Three, on the first lap, any one of them could have won the first heat.
Starting the first heat, from pole position, Holm led the field away and after a couple of laps, it looked as if the two JBS Lasersprint cars had the edge, as Schriks and Holm opened up a small gap and swapped the lead between themselves. Not far behind them, Hills and Grobler where also locked in battle, for third and fourth, with Trevor Bland (Kaleid-o-Print Rhema 2) and Jody Robertson (Acc Airconditioning Rhema 2) squabbling over fifth and sixth, behind them. All the way down the field, battles raged, with Jannie Geyser (Vision) and Gareth Jackson (JBS Lasersprint Rhema), embarking on a race long battle, while development drivers Devan Moonsammy (NLDTF Rhema) and Benny Phetla (NLDTF Vision), where also engaged in their own private battle. Even John Lerm (Racing for Wildlife Sting), Jack Valadas (Racing for Jesus Rhema) and newcomer Gert Van Den Berg (Rhema) where battling it out, for the minor points scoring positions as well.
Then the two car lead battle became a four car one, as Grobler and Hills hauled in the two JBS Lasersprint cars ahead of them. All of them took their turn to lead, and the four of them where swapping places all around the circuit. Well placed, into the final lap, Hills then missed his change to third gear, on the way to Turn Two, ensuring Holm of the victory and allowing Schriks and Grobler to seize the opportunity and sweep past to take second and third place. They where followed across the line by Hills, Robertson, Bland, Geyser, Jackson, Moonsammy,, Phetla, Valadas and Lerm.
The second heat promised more of the same but fell apart early on. On the run up to Turn Two, Hills was on the outside of Holm and was forced onto the dirt, as they exited the bend side by side. Then at the following bend, Hills was having a look down the inside, as Grobler turned in and the two cars tangled. Hills climbed over Grobler's back wheel, losing his nose cone in the process, while Grobler spun and some of those behind where forced to take avoiding action as well, jumbling the order a bit.
Hills was the first to recover, with Grobler rejoining almost at the back. Both where soon clawing their way back up through the field, as the two JBS Lasersprint Rhema 2s swapped places up front. Geyser had found himself stuck behind Moonsammy for a while but eventually found a way past, while Jackson was even further back. Not only was he unable to catch Moonsammy but he then allowed himself to stray into Phetla's sights and was hunted down and passed by the determined development driver, in the closing stages of the race. By this time, Hills had caught Robertson and relieved him of third place but the young ACC Airconditioning Rhema 2 driver, was not about to give up without a fight and fought Hills all the way to the line.
It was however Holm who took his second victory of the day, ahead of Schriks, Hills, Robertson, Grobler, Bland, Geyser, Moonsammy, Phetla, Jackson, Valadas and Lerm. The only retirement of the race, came from Van Den Berg who had a rear suspension failure approaching the entrance to the Oval, lost control and as he sailed into the gap backwards, the left front wheel caught the end of the wall as well. A lot happier was newcomer Mike Hudson (Tasman) who saw the chequered flag for the first time in his short Formula Vee career.