Schriks Takes Championship Lead Having gone into the Zwartkops Race in third place, in the 2009 South African National Formula Vee Championship, Jaco Schriks (Lasersprint Rhema 2) emerged as the Championship leader, at the halfway ...
Schriks Takes Championship Lead
Having gone into the Zwartkops Race in third place, in the 2009 South African National Formula Vee Championship, Jaco Schriks (Lasersprint Rhema 2) emerged as the Championship leader, at the halfway mark of the 2009 Season. The race was combined with the Formula Ford Kent series, with the Formula Vees starting ten seconds behind the Fords, for the first heat. Starting from pole position, Schriks led the Vee field from start to finish but with various people breathing down his neck and was soon into the Ford back markers. Chandre Kruger (Gilus IT SAP Tasman) ran wide early on and lost his nose cone but resumed at the back of the field, behind Doug MacDonald (Fantastic Racing Rhema 1) who had started the race from the pit lane. In the early stages of the race, Schriks had to fight off Symm Grobler (Auto Mecca Rhema 2) and Courtney Steenveld (NLDTF Rhema 2) but the two of them eventually lost touch and would lose out to the hard charging Alan Holm (Lastersprint Rhema 2) and Chad Van Beurden (Rhema 2), before the race was run.
Behind them Peter Hills (Prolantic Rhema 2) and Trevor Bland (Rhema 2) fought a race long duel, while Zaahir Essa (NLDTF Rhema 1), Gareth Jackson (Lasersprint Rhema 2) and Paul Venter (Nashua Mobile Lantis) where also locked in battle, for most of the race. Not far behind them, Nico Blignaut (Gilus IT SAP Rhema 2) Ben Pienaar (BJ Pro Welding Rhema 2) and Luca Canderle (Red/Mr Price Vision), where also involved in a good close battle, for a while, until Blignaut broke away to haul in the bunch ahead of him, shortly before the end of the race, leaving Pienaar and Candele, to duel it out on their own. Even Nicolas Tennant (Stonevest/TKAS Race Solutions TK096) and Hugo Wallendorf (LT Dents Lantis), where involved in their own private duel for a while, a little further back.
Out front it was however Schriks who went on to finish the race, fifth overall and first Formula Vee home. He was followed home, just over two and a half seconds later, by Holm, Van Beurden, Grobler and Steenveld, with the rest of the Formula Vee top twelve finishers, being, Hills, Bland, Essa, Venter, Blignaut, Jackson and Pienaar.
With everyone starting the second heat, based on their fastest lap in heat one, irrespective of category, fifteen year old Chad Van Beurden was on pole position, for the Vees and third on the grid, behind the two quickest Fords. The race was however Red Flagged, before they had completed a lap.
In Turn Four, Blignaut had spun. One or two succeeded in getting by unscathed but Pienaar's car was launched into the air, barrel rolling in the air, before crashing back to earth and continuing to barrel roll a few more times, before coming to a standstill, badly damaged and with only one wheel still attached to the car. Fortunately Pienaar escaped unscathed and the race was eventually restarted, without Pienaar and Blignaut, two Fords that had also collided with one another, behind the big accident and Canderle who had suffered a gearbox failure, on the warm up lap. Wallendorf did not go much further, retiring during the third lap, with a broken gear selector, while Kruger lost his nose cone again and also retired from the race, just on half distance.
The race had been reduced to eight laps and saw fifteen year old Van Beurden, finish third overall, just over half a second behind the winning Ford, to claim the first victory of his Formula Vee career and he was followed across the line, by Schriks, Holm, Grobler, Hills and Steenveld, with the rest of the Formula Vee top twelve places going to, Bland, Essa, Venter, Jackson, Jannie Geyser Jnr (Geyser Attorneys Rhema 2) and Mac Donald. Keeping his nose clean and finishing both heats unscathed, was Formula Vee debutant Mile Stewart (Rhema 1), behind Henk Swanepoel, in the Rent a Renovator Rhema 1).