Julian Fameliaris - Class A - Took Class A and Overall win for the day

Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series – Round 8 – Zwartkops Raceway – 2017-10-07

Bridgestone BMW Club Racing SeriesOvercast skies and a nippy wind welcomed race drivers to Zwartkops Raceway as they arrived for their third visit this year, this time for the eighth and penultimate round of the . But, following sustained rains over the previous few days, the weather finally smiled upon the drivers, and by mid-morning, the track had dried out enough to ensure some action-packed racing.

Qualifying

Held when the track was still somewhat damp, qualifying showed few surprises, with Julian Fameliaris (Tower Crane Services/Lube-Net) in his E36 328i Turbo (the only Class A car on the day) grabbing pole position with a blistering time of 1:08.667. The rest of the grid’s front rows were made up of the class B trio of E46 M3s of Paul Munro (Ascona Trading), Willie Erasmus (Big Boss Auto) and Riaan Woest (Viking Mining Solutions), with less than 0.7 seconds separating the three Class B front runners, and all within 1.5 seconds of Fameliaris. Fifth place on the grid went to Antonie Marx (Atomic Oil) in his Class C E46 M3, followed by another class B E36 328i Turbo driven by JB Breedt (Triplicon Construction).

Race 1

By the time the first heat rolled around, the track had dried out enough for the race cars to deploy all their power. As expected, Fameliaris grabbed an immediate lead and proceeded to immediately put some distance between himself and the rest of the fight. With a fastest lap time of 1:05.624 for the first race, he was almost 3 seconds quicker than the fastest Class B car.

The real battle raged in Class B, however, where Woest already snatched third position from Erasmus during the first lap. He was on a charge, and immediately set his target on Munro – a mission he successfully accomplished by passing Munro in turn 3 of lap 5. He maintained this position through the rest of the race, and while he couldn’t catch Fameliaris, a first-in-class, and second overall, for the first heat must have made him smile.

Munro came home in third position ahead of Erasmus in fourth overall after 10 laps. They enjoyed an epic battle which saw them swapping places throughout the race, which finally saw Munro slipping past Erasmus at the end of lap 8. Andreas Meier made his way through the field to grab fifth overall from JB Breedt in the ninth lap, after seeing off Antonie Marx in the seventh lap.

Further down the field, Class C also saw some exciting racing. Marx came first in class (seventh overall) after  seeing off Philip Smit’s (Hi-Q E46 M3) challenge during lap 8, with Shane Grobler (Mayfair Gearbox E36 M3 Turbo) taking up the ninth place by the time the chequered flag dropped.

The Class D cars of Jan Eversteyn (Mammoet Racing E36 328i) and guest driver Melanie Spurr (BMW Car Club E36 328i) had their own race, but were almost 10 seconds a lap off the pace of Fameliaris’s race-winning Class A car.

Top 3 Results by Class

Class A:

1.      Julian Fameliaris – 01:05.624

 

Class B:

1.      Riaan Woest – 01:08.504

2.      Paul Munro – 01:08.785

3.      Willie Erasmus – 01:09.319

Class C:        

1.      Antonie Marx – 01:10.359

2.      Philip Smit – 01:10.890

3.      Shane Grobler – 01:10.728

Class D:

1.      Jan Eversteyn – 01:14.097

2.      Melanie Spurr – 01:18.750

Race 2

The drivers started the second heat with the smell of competition still lingering in their helmets, because once the lights turned on the rolling start, the jostling for position began with newfound enthusiasm. Once again, Fameliaris took a commanding lead, putting a gap of 3 seconds between himself and Craig Ball (Rock Solid Industries E36 328i), who grabbed second place ahead of Breedt. Erasmus and Woest sat in fourth and fifth places after the first lap, respectively, but they all kept shuffling positions over the next few laps.

Paul Munro got into his stride by the third lap, slipping past Breedt on turn 5 of lap 4, making it stick, before taking aim at Woest in lap 6. That challenge wasn’t successful however, in part due to Munro being held up by a backmarker, leaving Woest to take first in class and second overall for the second heat. Munro’s charge up the ranks netted him the third position, but definitely played a significant part in netting Munro the title of Driver of the Day.

Meanwhile, Meier didn’t have too much difficulty to slip past Breedt during lap 6 and Erasmus a little later, but then he had to fight off the constant threat of Breedt and Erasmus trying to regain their positions. He finished the race in fourth place overall, and third in class. In a continuation of their last encounter at Red Star Raceway, Erasmus and Breedt had their own fight, eventually settling for fifth and sixth overall, ahead of Ball and Grobler.

Class C saw their own intense battle for supremacy, with Antonie Marx (Atomic Oil E46 M3) unsuccessfully challenging Philip Smit (Hi-Q E46 M3) from lap 7, but never quite having the legs to get past his rival. Shane Grobler (Class B Mayfair Gearbox E36 M3 Turbo) slotted between Marx and Oz Biagioni (Class C Bio Pool Maintenance E46 M3).

The only class D car to finish the race was Jan Eversteyn (Mammoet Racing E36 328i), seeing as Melanie Spurr retired with mechanical problems during lap 5, with the other notable retiree being Troy Cochran (Class D Arrow Automotive E46 325ti), whose race was also cut short in the first heat.

For his great competitive spirit and achievements on the day, Paul Munro received the popular Driver of the Day award.

Top 3 Results by Class

Class A:

1.      Julian Fameliaris – 01:05.928

 

Class B:

1.      Riaan Woest – 01:08.227

2.      Paul Munro – 01:08.050

3.      Andreas Meier – 01:08.635

Class C:

1.      Philip Smit – 01:10.462

2.      Antonie Marx – 01:10.460

3.      Oz Biagioni – 01:12.419

Class D:

1.      Jan Eversteyn – 01:14.294

2.      Melanie Spurr – 01:18.620

The next round will see the Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series return to the Red Star Raceway outside Delmas for the third time this year on the 11th of November for their final race of the season. Even though some of the category championships now has their champions for the year, it is the Overall Championship that will go down to the wire at this event!

Story by: Martin Pretorius

Event Photographs: www.RacePics.co.za

Media requests can be directed to: media@racepics.co.za

Website: www.bmwcarclub.co.za

Facebook: BMW Car Club Gauteng

Twitter: @BMWCarClubGP

Photographs

Julian Fameliaris - Class A - Took Class A and Overall win for the day
Julian Fameliaris – Class A – Took Class A and Overall win for the day
Riaan Woest - Class B Champion
Riaan Woest – Class B Champion
Philip Smit - Class C Champion
Philip Smit – Class C Champion
Jan Eversteyn - Class D Champion
Jan Eversteyn – Class D Champion
 
Paul Munro - Driver of the Day
Paul Munro – Driver of the Day
Melanie Spurr - Guest Driver in "Manny"
Melanie Spurr – Guest Driver in “Manny”
 

Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series - Sponsors - 2017

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