Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series visited the Phakisa Freeway on Saturday April 10

A derelict and forlorn venue rekindles memories of a glorious past

BMW Car Club Gauteng SA Race Series BMW Club Series – Round 02 – – 2021-04-10

The Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series visited the on Saturday April 10, and the unique layout of this once great venue brought out the best in all those who rose to meet its challenge. A total lack of electricity on site also meant that officials had to meet a different challenge which they all did admirably.

After the morning’s qualifying session, Andreas Meier took pole position in the Trained Amateurs BMW E36 STC just ahead of the equally impressive Rick Loureiro driving his trusty old Combined Racing BMW E30 325is, the oldest car in the field as he pointed out. Jagger Robertson (Viking/ BMW E46 M3) followed up his excellent debut at Red Star with a solid 3rd place, the trio all in Class B ahead of Class A’s William Einkamerer, who wasn’t feeling confident enough in his first outing back in the BTAS BMW E92 335i.

Shaun Lamprecht (Wildthings BMW E36 318i Turbo) was quickest in an extremely competitive Class C, a precursor to an eventful day ahead. In Class D Jonathan Matos (MatosSport BMW E46 330I Touring) headed a tight group, with Nicholas Herbst (Greenhouse Solar BMW E46 330i) next up after breaking out of Class E. Craig Herbst, who shares the Greenhouse Solar BMW with his son Nicholas, then opted to also race in Class D. In Class E Manny Ribeiro (Bridgestone/BMW Car Club BMW E46 325i Touring) put his distinctive Track Taxi in pole position.

Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series visited the Phakisa Freeway on Saturday April 10
Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series visited the Phakisa Freeway on Saturday April 10

 

Race 1

A 29 strong field came under the starter’s flag shortly before noon on a cloudless and hot day in the and Meier jumped into an immediate lead as they hurtled into turn 1, with Robertson and Loureiro in hot pursuit. As they sorted themselves out in the first lap, Einkamerer got closer to the leading trio, and a good scrap at the front was soon replicated by close tussles which unfolded behind them. Jan Eversteyn (African Surprise/Big Boss Auto BMW E46 M3) and Carlo Garbini (Kimbo Coffee BMW E46 330i Turbo) picked up where they left off at and battled on. Fellow warrior Salvi Gualtieri (SavSpeed/Eataly Foods BMW E36 328i Turbo) did not join them, having fallen foul of mechanical problems on Friday.

Shaun Lamprecht led Class C with Nicholas van Zyl (RSR BMW E36 328i Turbo), Nek Makris (BMW E46 328i Turbo), (/Rich Racing BMW E36 330i) and Trevor Long (Roof Surgeon BMW E36 M3) all chasing him. In Class D Neil Reynolds (Valve Hospital BMW E36 M3) and Alan Hilligenn (C3 Shared Services BMW E36 M3) engaged in spirited combat as the race wore on. In Class E Manny Ribeiro was in control from the flag, albeit under pressure from newcomer Thomas Potgieter (Stonehill Properties BMW E87 128i).

Class C: Shaun Lamprecht (Wildthings BMW E36 318i Turbo)
Class C: Shaun Lamprecht (Wildthings BMW E36 318i Turbo)

After 8 laps Meier won from Loureiro, Robertson and Einkamerer, the first Class A runner. In Class C a broken and rapidly disintegrating rear wing could not stop Lamprecht from crossing the line first, with van Zyl and Makris not far behind. In Class D Hilligenn ran wide two corners from the line and Neil Reynolds duly took advantage to follow up his two wins at the season opener. In Class E Ribeiro claimed the first step of the podium ahead of Potgieter, with Nicholas Fischer (Inside Active Group BMW E36 328i) surviving a spin at turn 3 late in the race to come home in third place.

Notable retirements from the race included Carlo Garbini with a blown head gasket, and Lorenzo Gualtieri (SavSpeed BMW E36 M3 Turbo) afflicted with a misfire and loss of power issues. Although he was happy with his first outing in the Class A ex-Len-Henri Gobey BMW E86 Z4M, Uli Sanne elected not to contest the afternoon start, citing a lack of suitable rubber. Troy Cochran (Arrow Automotive BMW E36 M3) battled an errant gear lever which dropped him down the Class C order, but he too came back for the afternoon. Matthew Wadeley’s BMW E36 M3 developed a clutch problem and that was that for the day. Jonathan Matos struggled with overheating problems but would come back to start race 2 as well and, as it turned out, suffer the same problem.

Race 1 Results per Class:

Class A:

1. William Einkamerer – 01:48.939

2. Uli Sanne – 01:52.594

3. Lorenzo Gualtieri – 01:49.906

Class B:

1. Andreas Meier – 01:47.984

2. Rick Loureiro – 01:48.546

3. Jagger Robertson – 01:48.573

Class C:

1. Shaun Lamprecht – 01:52.489

2. Nicholas Van Zyl – 01:51.984          

3. Nek Makris – 01:52.176

Class D:

1. Neil Reynolds – 01:55.494

2. Alan Hilligenn – 01:55.775

3. Bernard De Gouveia – 01:59.099

Class E:

1. Manny Ribeiro – 01:59.751

2. Thomas Potgieter – 02:00.134

3. Nicholas Fischer – 02:00.347

Fastest Lap: Andreas Meier – 01:47.984 in Lap 3

Class B: Andreas Meier (#TrainedAmateurs BMW E36 STC)
Class B: Andreas Meier (#TrainedAmateurs BMW E36 STC)

 

Race 2

As they all caught their breath between races, Einkamerer was champing at the bit, feeling bullish after the morning’s opening round. Starting from pole position in the inverted grid by class for race 2 only made him more so. He led the pack into turn 1 for the second 8 lapper, and the pack followed him with equal enthusiasm. Jagger Robertson was an early casualty, running wide in the first lap hurly burly, and clogging his intakes with grass which required a pit stop to be removed, inevitably dropping him down the order. As the field settled into a rhythm Einkamerer was under immediate pressure and fought tooth and nail to fend off Loureiro, with (Bio Pool Maintenance BMW E46 M3), Andreas Meier and Jan Eversteyn not far behind. Fabio Fedetto (BMW F82 M4) was next up after breaking out into the Class B ranks in morning qualifying.

In Class C Troy Cochran initially led from Renier Smit, Trevor Long, Lyle Ramsay, Nicholas van Zyl, Nek Makris and Shaun Lamprecht. The Wild Thing had only just made the grid with literally seconds to spare after repairing his rear wing with help from a local artisan who first had to be found in order to weld it all together again. Where there’s a will… In Class D Hilligenn and Reynolds resumed hostilities after the morning’s first bout, with Ribeiro engaged in a free for all in Class E between himself Thomas Potgieter and Nicholas Fischer. The track taxi then retired with a broken differential, but the other two carried on in much the same vein right to the end.

Class E: Thomas Potgieter (Stonehill Properties BMW E87 128i)
Class E: Thomas Potgieter (Stonehill Properties BMW E87 128i)

At the front Einkamerer had his hands full with Loureiro and Meier all over him like the proverbial rash, trying to get past. Behind them Eversteyn had tried repeatedly, albeit in vain, to pass Biagioni who was being somewhat forceful defending his place. On the second last lap the African Surprise man was off the road in full flight on the back straight, coating his car with grass in the process. Heady stuff!! He re-joined and made it to the end less than happy with how his race had unfolded. 

As the sun slid ever closer to the banked oval on the perimeter of the Phakisa Freeway, an ecstatic Einkamerer, oblivious to all the drama behind him, took his first overall win. Meier shadowed him across the line, winning Class B after passing Loureiro in the closing stages. The German means business in 2021. Eversteyn was an angry and frustrated fourth overall after his eventful race, with Fabio Fedetto next up, delivering a promising performance first time out in the class. Biagioni slowed and dropped down the order with a broken CV joint.

Young Robertson clawed his way back through the field to finish in 7th spot and salvage valuable points, behind Class C winner Shaun Lamprecht who had worked his way up the field to 6th place from a lowly inverted grid start. After only just going under starter’s orders, he was pleased with his day’s work. One trusts he remunerated the friendly artisan appropriately. The amiable Nek Makris finished second in Class C, the 2019 champion enjoying his return to action after giving 2020 a miss. Renier Smith and Trevor Long followed him home.

Lyle Ramsay and Troy Cochran both retired with gearbox related issues, while Nicholas van Zyl slowed but finished, also with a broken CV joint. In Class D Hilligenn made amends for his slip up in race 1 by leading sparring partner Reynolds home, with Bernard de Gouveia (de Gouveia Accountants BMW E36 328i) third, and Shane Grobler fourth in his old BMW E36 328i.  In Class E, Thomas Potgieter drove an excellent race to beat Nicholas Fischer, the two enjoying an 8-lap thriller. Bertie Rietveld (Bertie Rietveld Knives BMW E36 328i) completed the podium crossing the line third.

Class D: Neil Reynolds (Valve Hospital BMW E36 M3)
Class D: Neil Reynolds (Valve Hospital BMW E36 M3)

 

Race 2 Results per Class:

Class A:

1. William Einkamerer – 01:48.747

 

Class B:

1. Andreas Meier – 01:47.960

2. Rick Loureiro – 01:48.103

3. Jan Eversteyn – 01:50.274

Class C:

1. Shaun Lamprecht – 01:52.761

2. Nek Makris – 01:53.377      

3. Renier Smith – 01:55.285

Class D:

1. Alan Hilligenn – 01:55.278

2. Neil Reynolds – 01:55.328

3. Bernard De Gouveia – 01:59.994

Class E:

1. Thomas Potgieter – 02:01.443

2. Nicholas Fischer – 02:01.550

3. Bertie Rietveld – 02:05.962

Fastest Lap: Andreas Meier – 01:47.960 in Lap 5

Class A: William Einkamerer (BTAS BMW E92 335i)
Class A: William Einkamerer (BTAS BMW E92 335i)

 

Einkamerer completed an unforgettable day by taking the coveted Driver of the Day Award.

The elation should carry him until the next round at the BMW Track Day on June 5.

 

Story by Tony Alves.

Report and Event Photographs: www.RacePics.co.za

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

BMW Car Club Gauteng

Website: www.bmwcarclub.co.za

Facebook: BMW Car Club Gauteng

Twitter: @BMWCarClubGP

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