Van Beurden Conquers Lichtenburg Fifteen year old Chad Van Beurden (Rhema 2) produced another polished performance, taking pole position, two race wins and the fastest lap, on his first visit to the tight 1.6 Km SCC Lichtenburg...
Van Beurden Conquers Lichtenburg
Fifteen year old Chad Van Beurden (Rhema 2) produced another polished performance, taking pole position, two race wins and the fastest lap, on his first visit to the tight 1.6 Km SCC Lichtenburg Raceway, in the North West Province. Second place, went to another of the Dean Nel prepared cars, the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund Rhema 1, of Zaahir Essa but the four cars, prepared by Nel, where lucky to even be there, after a fire broke out in back of the D'nelli Manufacturing Truck, while transporting the cars to Lichtenburg.
Race one saw Van Beurden lead from start to finish and initially he opened up a sizable gap, as Alan Holm (Lasersprint/Office Direct Rhema 2), Trevor Bland (Rhema 2), Jaco Schriks (Lasersprint Rhema 2), Courtney Steenveld (NLDTF Rhema 2), Essa, Symm Grobler (Auto Mecca Rhema 2) and Peter Hills (BJ Pro Welding/Prolantic Rhema 2) fought things out, behind him. Then Grobler retired, leaving the rest of them to continue the battle on their own. Behind them, things where just as intense, as Alan Eustice (Execuline Rhema 2), Jannie Geyser Jnr (Geyser Racing Rhema 2), Paul Venter (Nashua Mobile Laser), Gareth Jackson (Lasersprint Rhema 2) and Ben Pienaar (BJ Pro Welding Rhema 2) battled it out amongst themselves, as well. An early retirement had come from Hugo Wallendorf (BJ Pro Welding Lantis) due to fuel starvation, while Luca Canderle (Mr Price Red Racing Vision) retired shortly before half distance, with a broken inlet manifold.
Then just on half distance, Venter went off the road, bringing out the Safety Car but he managed to regain the circuit, under his own steam, so after one slow lap behind the Safety Car, the field was released again, right on one another's tails and the second half of the race commenced, Eustice did not last much longer and retired with a broken gearbox, while out front, Van Beurden still had things very much under control. Behind him, it was however a different story, as Essa first battled his way past Holm and then in the closing stages of the race, fought his way past Bland as well, with Steenveld swarming all over the back of them, even making it up alongside Holm, at Turn Five, on the penultimate lap.
So after twenty grueling laps, it was Van Beurden who led the field home, and he was followed across the line, by Essa, Bland, Holm, Steenveld, Hills, Schriks, Geyser Jnr, Jackson, Pienaar, Venter and Henk Swanepoel (Rent a Renovator Rhema 1), while Eustice also qualified as a finisher, having completed more that two thirds of the race.
The second heat, saw Schriks fail to start the race, after he climbed into the car and discovered he had no clutch, due to a jammed slave cylinder. They tried frantically to resolve the problem. before the start but ran out of time and Schriks was relegated to the role of spectator. In the race, Van Beurden once again led from start to finish but this time, Essa slotted in behind him and stayed reasonably close, finishing the race just over half a second, behind of Van Beurden. Initially, it was Bland who lead the chasing pack, of Holm, Hills and Steenveld, but having made his way past Hills, Steenveld then spun at Turn One and could not get the car to restart. Seconds later Nico Blignaut (Gilus IT SAP Rhema 2) and Pienaar tangled, putting Blignaut out of the race, while Pienaar resumed, right at the back of the field.
As the race, progressed Holm found a way past Bland, while Geyser Jnr, Jackson and Venter where battling things out between themselves, a little further back, with Grobler eventually reeling them in, after starting from near the back of the grid. Just then, Geyser Jnr pulled off, just beyond Turn Two, with a broken gear linkage and his race was run. There where however, no such problems for Van Beurden who took his second victory of the day, while his fastest lap, from the first heat, meant that he came away from Lichtenburg, with maximum points for the day. Second place, once again went to Essa and he was followed home, by Holm, Bland, Hills, Grobler, Jackson, Venter, Eustice, Wallendorf, Swanepoel and Pienaar, while Geyser Jnr, had also completed enough laps, to qualify as a finisher.