On Saturday, the 23rd October, the Mercedes Benz Grand Prix Circuit in East London plays host to the penultimate round of the 2004 South African National Formula Vee Championship. The race has attracted a competitive entry of approximately twenty cars and the picturesque, high speed circuit, only meters from the beach, should produce plenty of close slip streaming action. The event also includes races for the Porsche Cup, Historic Saloons, Fine and Marque Cars, as well as Regional Saloon Cars and Regional Motor Cycles. The day’s racing is due to get underway at 9h45, with the first Porsche Cup race, while the two National Championship Formula Vee races. are due to start at 12h40 and 15h30.
By it’s nature, the old Grand Prix Circuit at East London lends it’s self to good close Formula Vee racing, with drivers able to make the most of the slipstream, down the long main straight, while the flat out (for the very brave) Potters Pass, really sorts the men from the boys. The circuit is also steeped in South African motor racing history, with the main straight having formed a small part of the circuit, used for the 1st South African Grand Prix, in 1934. The pits where moved to their present location in 1935, while the current circuit hosted the South African Grand Prix, from 1960 to 1965, with some of the legends of world motor racing competing at the circuit, including Sterling Moss, Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jack Brabham, John Surtees, Bruce MacLaren, Denny Hulme, Dan Gurney, Jackie Stewart and Joachim Rindt. Most current Formula Vee drivers where not yet born but many are aware, that they are following in the wheel tracks of these legends.
Heading the Formula Vee entry, for the East London race, is current log leader and the man hoping to clinch the 2004 title in East London, Symm Grobler (#2 Auto Mecca Rhema 2). By no means will he have things his own way and a number of drivers are capable of winning the races, in East London. These include Lee Thompson (#11 08xconnect.com Rhema), Dennis Johns (#3 Goldco Midas Rhema 2), Alan Holm (#4 JBS Lasersprint Rhema 2), Peter Hills (#5 Vacuform Rhema), Anthony Taylor (#7 Rigidek Rhema 2) and Jaco Schriks (#9 JBS Lasersprint Rhema 2). As well as the 2004 Chamipion elect, this group includes no less that four previous titleholders and should form the lead bunch, on race day.
Not far behind and perhaps even getting in on the action, should be sixteen year old ex Karter Jonathan Vilaca (#70 Vision), while the likes of development driver Benny Phetla (#17 Vacuform Rhema), Alan Kernick (#38 Tasman), along with teenage ex Karters, Kyle Bennett (#100 Rhema) and Trevor Bland (#63 Rhema), should be fighting it out for the balance of the points scoring positions. Also hoping to give a good account of themselves, at East London, will be the likes of Bradley Martin (#22 Rhema 2), Manie Geldenhuis (#49 Lagus), Jaco Greyling (#54 Rhema), Gareth Jackson (#66 JBS Lasersprint Sting) and Hugo Wallendorf (#83 Vision). Making the trip up the coast, from Cape Town, will be Romanie Smithdorf and Chris Danks both driving Lantis Vees and they will be joined by Cape Town Formula Vee newcomer, Jan Du Toit.
National Championship Points:
1 Symm Grobler 202 2 Alan Holm 164 3 Lee Thompson 116 4 Jaco Shricks 108 5 Jody Robertson 90 6 Peter Hills 85 7 Benny Phetla 71 8 Dennis Johns 61 9 Jonathan Vilaca 55 10 Anthony Taylor 49