Holm and Robertson secure the Zwartkops Victories The second round of the 2006 South African National Formula Vee Championship, saw reigning Champion Alan Holm (JBS Lasersprint Rhema 2) secure his first win of the year, with a...
Holm and Robertson secure the Zwartkops Victories
The second round of the 2006 South African National Formula Vee Championship, saw reigning Champion Alan Holm (JBS Lasersprint Rhema 2) secure his first win of the year, with a flag to flag victory in the first heat. It was however Jody Robertson (ACC Airconditioning Rhema 2) who won the second, after working his way to the head of a five car lead battle, during the first half of the race and then hanging on in the rain, to take his first National Championship race victory.
The first heat, saw Holm lead the field away and by the end of lap one, he led from Jaco Schriks, in the second JBS Lasersprint Rhema 2, Peter Hills (Vacuform Rhema 2), Robertson, Symm Grobler (Auto Mecca Rhema 2) and Anthony Taylor (Rigidek Rhema 2). Robertson was however battling with the handling of his car and it did not take Grobler long, to find a way past and relieve him, of fourth place. The next person, to set his sights on Robertson, was Taylor but in his eagerness to reel in the car ahead, Taylor tried to use second, where he should by rights have been in third gear and his engine showed it's displeasure by punching one of the valve buckets through the head.
In the meantime Chris Danks (Fantastic Racing Rhema 2) had lost a number of places, with a spin in the early stages of the race and was gradually working his way through a train of cars, that included Jannie Geyser (Vision), Devan Moonsammy (Lotto Rhema), Doug MacDonald (Fantastic Racing Rhema) and Bradley Martin (Rhema 2). Ahead of them, Robertson was now coming under increasing pressure, from Trevor Bland (Rhema 2) but just after half distance, the cars touched wheels in Turn Four and Bland spun. Unable to get the car restarted, Bland joined Taylor, as the only starters not to finish the race.
Securing the fastest lap of the race, in the process, Holm went on to win the heat, from Schriks, Hills, Grobler, Robertson, Danks, Geyser, MacDonald, Martin, Moonsammy, Gareth Jackson (JBS Lasersprint Rhema) and John Lerm (Racing for Wildlife Sting).
In the second heat, it was Schriks who led the field away, followed by Holm, Hills, Grobler and Robertson but by the end of the first lap, Grobler was up to third place, ahead of Hills, with the first five still locked in a titanic struggle, at the head of the field. In what was to be a race of two parts, the first half saw this battle continue unabated, with positions changing on a regular basis. Lap three, saw the first change of lead, as Holm demoted Schriks to second place. In the meantime, Robertson had already passed Hills and by the following lap, both Grobler and Robertson, had pushed Schriks back to fourth. Robertson then slipped past Grobler, to take second place, just on half distance and by the following lap, Robertson was in the lead, ahead of Holm, Grobler, Hills and Schriks but the rain was not far away.
During that first half of the race, the battle for the lead had not been the only one, with Moonsammy, MacDonald and Martin, engaged in a furious battle, further down the field, while toward the back of the field, even Lerm, Jack Valadas (Racing for Jesus Rhema) and Benny Phetla (Lotto Vision), where locked in battle as well. Having started from the back of the grid and clearing all of them, as well as Geyser and Danks, Taylor and Bland had made rapid progress up through the field, with Taylor already making plans, to capitalize further and catch the lead bunch unawares, as they concentrated on their own epic battle.
The rain would however have the final say and everyone's attention turned, to keeping their cars on the track and pointing in the right direction. Moonsammy ploughed through the Turn Two gravel trap, on no less than three occasions, with Phetla giving the route a try out as well and a number of cars spun, including the highly experienced Grobler. Before the spin, he had already been passed, by the acknowledged Formula Vee "Rain Meister" Hills who then had to dispose of a struggling Holm, before he could set off after Robertson who had opened a bit of a gap, in the treacherous conditions.
With too much to do and too little time to do it in, Hills had to settle for second place, just over half a second behind Robertson and they where followed across the line, by Holm, Schriks, Bland, Taylor, Grobler, Danks, Geyser, MacDonald, Martin and Jackson.