Kyalami Vodacom Speed Festival preview

An impressive cross-section of cars and drivers will line up for the Vodacom Two Hour Enduro at the Vodacom Speed Festival at AA Kyalami on Saturday. Entries poured in to the AA Racing office on Monday, and a minimum of 40 cars will come under...

An impressive cross-section of cars and drivers will line up for the Vodacom Two Hour Enduro at the Vodacom Speed Festival at AA Kyalami on Saturday.

Entries poured in to the AA Racing office on Monday, and a minimum of 40 cars will come under starters orders. All the major South African circuit racing categories will be represented with the field comprising cars from the Wesbank V8, Midas Production Car, Engen VW Cup, Vodacom Sports Prototype, Vodacom Isondo Sports 2000, Sascar and Grand Touring championships.

The race programme also includes a one hour endurance event for Superbikes and road "racers" with an engine capacity in excess of 600cm3, and a Formula GTi event to be run over two heats. The Vodacom Two Hour entries must nominate a minimum of two drivers, and there will be a compulsory fuel stop and index of performance category.

Entries in the various categories reflect some interesting driver combinations. A number of pairings will be strong candidates for both overall and index of performance honours, with the event shaping up to provide a tremendous finale to the season.

"The entry list has the potential to provide one of the most interesting events run in this country for a long time," said AA Racing managing director Piet Swanepoel. "There is plenty of quality and it is a line-up that revives memories of the old Nine Hour."

Wesbank V8 pair Shaun Watson-Smith and Deon Joubert will share a Petronas Opel Astra, with Watson-Smith coming off a successful weekend in Cape Town. They will be candidates for overall honours along with Hennie Groenewald and Johan Fourie in a Chev Camaro.

Other Wesbank entries include Larry and Terry Wilford, in the Fuchs Ford Mustang, former champion Roelf du Plessis and Steve Smith in a Chev Camaro and Willie Hepburn and Martin van Zummeren in another Camaro. Some interesting tussles are certain to develop out of that lot.

On the Vodacom Sports Prototype front champion George Ferreira will share a car with Alan Eve, and they will also come into the overall honours reckoning. Francois Gerber and Patrick Seddon also form a strong combination, as do the Kennerley brothers, Clive and James, Neil Lobb and Garth Waberski and Mike Fergusson and former SA drivers champion Bernard Tilanus.

Another team with powerful credentials for overall and index honours will be the Castrol/Van der Linde Racing BMW pair of Shaun van der Linde and Mike Briggs. Both are former Touring Car champions, with van der Linde recently adding the South African Production Car Championship to the family silverware.

Van der Linde's younger brother, Etienne, will share another BMW with Louis Remondini, and scribe Michele Lupini will team up with Angus Thompson in the Champion Mobil Subaru Impreza WRX. Two other BMWs have been entered for Richard Sorensen and Chad Wentzel and Vaughn Williams and Grant Wentzel, while Peter Lanz will run the big Nissan QX with a driver still to be nominated.

The Sascar entry is headed by a Ford Thunderbird for Capetonian Jean-Jaques Maree and Peter Lindenberg. A Chev Monte Carlo has been entered for Grant van Schalkwyk and Zane Pearce, and there could be one or two late entries from the Sascar brigade.

Newly crowned Engen VW Cup champion Graeme Nathan teams up with Ryan Bakewell, with Midrand based Nathan clinching the national title in Cape Town over the weekend. The other interesting VW Cup entry sees Iain Pepper link up with Robert Briggs.

Another national champion, Chad Francis, will share a Vodacom Isondo Sports 2000 with Luis Kapai, and Riyad Jaffer will team up with Zakhele Zonele. Two other Vodacom Isondo Sports 2000 entries see Zenzy Mofoane team up with Kearn Francis and Devan Moonsammy will be partnered by Simon Mosley.

Another candidate for overall honours appears in the Grand Touring category where former Porsche World Cup star Toby Venter has entered the potent Porsche GT2. Venter has yet to nominate a co-driver, with other Porsche entries coming from veteran Bruce Joelson and Franz Pretorius in a pair of Porsche GT3s.

There will be official practice and qualifying sessions for all categories on Friday. Gate entry is the normal R30 with children under 12 free, and pre-booking is available at Computicket outlets.


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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Steve Smith , Shaun Watson-Smith , Hennie Groenewald , Peter Li
Teams Williams