The national racing circus that is the Wesbank Super Series visited the “friendly city” of Port Elizabeth this weekend as the classes to did battle at Aldo Scribante for the first and only time this season. As always, the racing didn’t disappoint.
The premier Class A Bridgestone Production Car class saw defending champion Michael Stephen take two wins out of three to keep his hopes of a back-to-back championship alive. Stephen made the most of his home-track advantage by drawing first blood with the Xtreme Team Audi S4 in race 1, ahead of Hennie Groenewald’s Subaru and Anthony Taylor’s BMW. Hennie van der Linde in the second Afrox BMW took the chequered flag in race two, spoiling Stephen’s chances of a clean sweep. Stephen brought the S4 in ahead of Groenwald again to finish second.
The 14 lap finale ended in controversy after Stephen won again, with Groenewald and Tschops Sipuka (in the second Xtreme S4) in second and third respectively. After race officials penalized Groenewald, former champion Johan Fourie (IndyOil S4), and van der Linde 30 seconds for running excessive boost, Sipuka was promoted to second and Melville Priest (Mueller Sport S4) to third.
It was a good weekend for former Class T champion Graeme Nathan, who romped to two straight wins in his IndyOil/Kaye Eddie Golf 6. The win for the 14 lap feature race actually went to Michael van Rooyen (Williams Hunt Opel Astra OPC), but it was deemed that van Rooyen’s OPC was also running too much boost, which handed Nathan the win.
In the V8 supercars GT1 category, veteran Ben Morgenrood (IndyOil/BM Auto Ford Falcon) took an impressive win after the first heat, but race two ended prematurely when Marc Auby blew the engine on his ELT International/SKF Chevrolet Lumina and the car caught fire – which resulted in the race being red-flagged and declared null and void. In the GT2 class, Patrick Seddon (Contact Aircon Lumina), another local, won the first race ahead of Des Gutzeit (Dezzi Ford Falcon).
In the Engen VW Cup, teenager Kelvin Van der Linde (Ferodo VW Polo) earned two race wins from the two sprint events, besting Kosie Weyers (Xtreme Team VW Polo) and Mark Silverwood (Q8 Oils VW Polo) in the first heat, and Jeffrey Kruger (IndyOil VW Polo) and Matthew Hodges (ITR Africa VW Polo) in the second heat.
In the Midas 1600 category, double wins went to James Temple, while Jayde Kruger and Simon Moss shared victories in the Formula VW class.
Championship leader Clint Seller and young Petersen were penalised in the supersport bike class for jump starts in race one and robbed the Bikefin team of a podium clean sweep. Veteran Lance Isaacs, on a third Bikefin Honda, took the win ahead of Kawasaki pair Ivan Torlage and Dean Vos. Isaacs crashed early in race two with Seller and Petersen redeeming themselves by finishing first and second ahead of Torlage and Vos.
The SA Superbike wins were shared by reigning champion Greg Gildenhuys (Motorrad BMW) and championship leader Dave McFadden on the Pepper Kawasaki. Despite a bunch-up that saw McFadden drop to 12th place, he carved his way up the field to finish third behind Gildenhuys and Nicolas Grobler on the Jonway BMW. McFadden then stormed away, finishing eight seconds clear of Gildenhuys with the impressive Grobler third.
The fourth round of the Wesbank Super Series happens at the Zwartkops raceway in Gauteng on May 26.