Leeroy Poulter became the first racing driver to win a national circuit racing event in a Mercedes-Benz when he took the chequered flag in Round 12 of the production car series at Zwartkops on Saturday.

Leeroy Poulter became the first racing driver to win a national circuit racing event in a Mercedes-Benz when he took the chequered flag in Round 12 of the production car series at Zwartkops on Saturday.


Zwartkops Raceway, near Pretoria, hosted Rounds 11 and 12 of the production car series and Poulter won the second of the day’s two panel crunching Class A events in the Champion EON team’s Mercedes-Benz C320.


The opening production car race saw Castrol BMW 330i driver Anthony Taylor storm into the lead at the start, closely pursued by Shaun van der Linde (Castrol BMW 330I), Poulter, Etienne van der Linde (Castrol BMW 330i), Kaye-Eddie BMW 330i team mates Reghardt Roets and Steven Morris and Richard Sorensen (VaalHP BMW 330i).


Nudged from behind, Roets spun out of contention on Lap Two, while Martin Steyn (LG Flatron Alfa Romeo 156 GTA), Steve Wyndham (Ford Credit Falcon XR8

and Mark Allison (Kaye-Eddie BMW 330i) lost touch with the leading bunch.


On a charge, Taylor hung on to the lead for the 10-lap duration to win. Behind him, Poulter forced his Mercedes past Shaun van der Linde’s BMW to take second place, while a determined Steve Morris snatched the fourth place from Etienne van der Linde on the final lap.


Poulter’s chance arrived halfway around Lap One of the second race, when the leading BMWs of Shaun van der Linde and Anthony Taylor collided at the end of the main straight. The Mercedes-Benz slipped past and led for the rest off the race and also set the day’s fastest production car lap time.


Poulter was chased to the chequered flag by Shaun and Etienne van der Linde, with Taylor five seconds adrift in fourth place. Richard Sorensen, Reghardt Roets and Steve Morris took the next three placings, with all three BMWs looking worse for wear after a race-long car war.


Dawie Brough (Prominent Paints Honda Ballade V-TEC), Mike O’Sullivan (OKI Honda Ballade V-TEC) and Bert Grogor (German Workshop Toyota Corolla RSi) survived a multi-car pile-up to take the first three places in the opening Class B race.


Grogor drove brilliantly to win the second race from Brough and O’Sullivan. Lawrence Boshoff (Orbit Coach Works Honda Ballade 180i) took his customary win in the first Class C race, leading home Molefe Lethebe (OKI Honda Ballade) and Gary Gordon in a similar Honda.


The result came about after Doug Reekie (Ray-Ban Honda) and Craig Nicholson (Sabat Honda) were delayed in the Class B competitors’ multiple off-road excursion.


Reekie came back with a vengeance in Race Two, winning ahead of Boshoff, Nicholson and Lethebe, while Gordon was punted off the track and rolled his Honda.


Miguel Pasqualli (Ford Racing Ikon 1,6) won the opening Class D race from

Angus Thompson (Garonga Safari VW Golf 1600) and Robi Beninca (VW Golf 1600).


Thompson triumphed the second time around, beating off a fierce attack from

Beninca and Fanie de Bruin (M&R Ford Ikon 1,6) to take his first production car victory. Darren Murphy (VW Parts CitiGolf) and Francois van Zyl (Opel Corsa 140i)

took turns to top of the respective Class E podiums, with local privateer Deon Crous (VW CitiGolf) second both times.


At the end of the meeting, Angus Thompson was voted Sasol’s Top Gun and Deon Crous the CAR Magazine Rookie of the Day.