After a mid winter break of two months, during which two Regional Championship events took place, the second half of the 2004 South African National Formula Vee Championship, kicks of at the Wesbank Raceway on Saturday the 7th August. The day’s racing is due to get underway at 10h40 and includes Regional and Club Championship events, for Thunder Cars, Historic Touring Cars, Fine Cars, VW Challenge and Silver Cup, with the two National Championship Formula Vee races, due to start at 11h55 and 15h05.
So far this year, the man that has made the most of his opportunities and has led the Championship all season, is veteran Formula Vee racer Symm Grobler (#2 Auto Mecca Rhema 2) but it has been anything but total domination, with six different race winners so far this year.
Going into the second half of the season, Grobler’s main opposition should come from the 2001 National Title holder Lee Thompson (#11 Rhema) and Alan Holm (#4 JBS / Laser Sprint Rhema 2). After a late start, Thompson established himself as the man to beat, as the season progressed, while Holm has picked up two Regional Championship race wins, during the mid winter break and will be hoping to pick up some National Championship race wins, before the end of the year as well. Challenging them for the race win, at the Wesbank Raceway, could be Holm’s team mate Jaco Schriks (#9 JBS / Laser Sprint Rhema 2), along with Peter Hills (#4 Vacuform Rhema).
One of the leading contenders, taking no further part in the Championship this year, will be Jody Robertson who has finally made his long anticipated move to the Engen Polo Cup series. His Rhema, will now be in the hands of yet another teenage Karter, sixteen year old Trevor Bland, who like Jonathan Vilaca, Andre Van Der Merwe and Kyle Bennett, is making the progression, from Karting, to Single Seater Car Racing. Like Robertson, the current Formula Vee Champion, David Veringa, Darren Murphy and Kurt Wesson, along with those that have gone before them, all these talented youngsters, are hoping to go on and establish themselves as racing drivers to be reckoned with, not only in this country but perhaps internationally as well.
Having already recorded points scoring finishes, in recent Regional Championship events, fifteen year old Van Der Merwe (#72 ACC Air Conditioning Rhema 2) and fifteen year old Bennett (#100 Rhema) will be making their National Formula Vee racing debuts, at the Wesbank Raceway, while sixteen year old Vilaca (#70 Vision), has already recorded top ten finishes at both National and Regional Championship level. All of them should be battling it out, not far behind the lead bunch, with the likes of Wayne Bennett (#10 Lafarge Readymix Rhema 2), development driver Benny Phetla (#17 Vacuform Rhema), Jannie Geyser (#18 Vision), Bradley Martin (#22 Rhema 2) and the Cartmell brothers, Claude (#15 Rand Brake Sting) and Kevin (#21 Rand Brake Sting), offering them some stiff competition.
Romanie Smithdorf (#49 Lantis) and Chris Danks (#57 Lantis), are both hoping to be able to make the trip up from Cape Town, to join regular Cape Town competitor Doug MacDonald (#28 Rhema), while newcomer Ashley Spada (#64 Omega) should be making his Formula Vee racing debut, at the Wesbank Raceway event. With a full field expected, the race should provide plenty of good close racing action, all the way down the field.
National Championship Points:
1 Symm Grobler 125 2 Alan Holm 90 3 Jody Robertson 90 4 Lee Thompson 79 5 Jaco Schriks 65 6 Dennis Johns 44 7 Benny Phetla 42 8 Peter Hills 40 9 Wayne Bennett 37 10 Bradley Martin 32