The popular Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series has once again delivered a stunning year of racing and hard-fought battles throughout the field. Even though the various class championships can basically be considered as decided the overall championship still remains open. Once again, like the previous year we will need to wait until the chequered flag drops in the final race to know who will be crowned overall champion. This final showdown will take place on the 1st of December at the popular Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in Midrand. The race series will be part of the annual Bridgestone Track Day hosted by Auto Bavaria Midrand. That means there will be plenty to do and see on this fun filled family day. And to boot, spectator entry is absolutely free.
All eyes will be on the battle for the title with three drivers still in the running heading into Round 8. Class C competitor Antonie Marx (BMW E46 M3) heads up the points table with 103 points behind his name with Class B’s Paulo Loureiro (BMW E36 M3 GTS) on 99 points. Following his retirement in the second race of Round 7, Class D’s Alan Hillegenn (BMW E36 328i) has slipped down to third place in the standings with 96 points accumulated. Although Marx holds the points advantage, he is the only one in this trio without any prior experience around the circuit since it has been revamped. All three competitors will however face stiff competition from their respective class rivals.
Marx has already secured the Class C honours for 2018, but he can count on the rest of the Class C pack not making things easy for him. the battle for second place in the class will be a thrilling one with Shane Grobler (BMW E36 330i) heading up Neil Reynolds (BMW E36 M3) and Craig Ball (BMW E36 M3). Loureiro also already clinched the Class B honours but will also face a fierce rivalry with only 9 points separating those in the running for second place; Jan Eversteyn (BMW E46 M3), Oz Biagioni (BMW E46 M3) and Willie Erasmus (BMW E46 M3 GTR). Andreas Meier (BMW E36 M3) once again making a special trip back from Germany would also like to continue his excellent form which saw him taking the double-victory during Round 7.
Hillegenn finds himself 19 points clear of Nek Makris (BMW E46 328i Turbo) in Class D, but with only 20 points available on the day this battle could be concluded by the end of the first race. Hillegenn’s attention will still be focussed on the overall title though. Of late he has been dominant in the class and reliability-dependant, will be aiming for a double-victory. Others to look out for in class D will be Troy Cochran (BMW E46 330ti), Morgan Long (BMW E36 328i) and Matthew Wadeley (BMW E36 328i). Marx and Loureiro will be very mindful of Hilligenn’s powerful underdog status.
The battle at the front of the field will be between the Class T runners and although David Coetzee has already taken the 2018 honours, this is set to produce some fast-paced action with 11 cars entered in the class. Expected to head up the field will be Sav Gualtieri (BMW F30 335i) with the likes of Kashen Naiker (BMW E90 335i), Julian Fameliaris (BMW E36 328i Turbo) and Adrian Dalton (BMW E46 M3 CSL) some of the names that will give him a good run for his money on the day.
The race day will form part of a combined track and race day hosted by the Auto Bavaria Midrand in conjunction with Bridgestone and the BMW Car Club Gauteng and will see some 80 entries on the day. Some of the cars expected in the time trials are from the G&H Transport stable that includes both brothers Ricky and Gianni Giannoccaro in their Lamborghini Supertrafeo’s and father Jimmy Giannoccaro in the Ferrari F430 Challenge. Other cars also expected are Franco Di Matteo (Alfa GT), Edrich Zwiers (Nissan GT-R Nismo R35), Leon Loubser (BMW E92 335i) and Thouca Mechanicos (Mercedes Benz C55 DTM). The Porsche Club Central will also be represented by a number of members in their stunning cars ranging from Albert Moffat (Porsche 991.2 GTS Carrera), Brian White (Porsche 993 Supercup) and Ricard Schuhardt (Porsche 911 RSR GT3) to name but a few.
BMW Dealer Partners Auto Bavaria BMW are also involved to show the latest and greatest of the BMW M showroom and will have BMW Lifestyle products available for you to purchase at the track.
The will be a special unveiling of a modified BMW 745 and some very special cars from the Pablo Clark and Peter Kaye-Eddie Estates stables on display. These cars will be doing demonstration laps that will include the popular BMW Bat Mobile and the Tony Viana cars such as the ex-Group 1 BMW 745 and the BMW 325i Shadowline. Furthermore, iTOO Insurance will be Offering Hot Laps in the Classic Bat Mobile Race Car to a lucky winner during the lunch break.
The day’s programme will start as early as 07:30 with a host of track sessions as well as the race series practice and qualifying sessions. Race 1 is scheduled for 12:55 with Race 2 at 16:10. Entrance to the circuit for spectators is free and BMW enthusiasts in the Gauteng region are welcome to share in the festivities which will include Hot Laps in the BMW Driving Experience M3’s around the circuit for a mere R200 per person with a professional driver – please note long pants and sleeves are mandatory.
Report by: RacePics.co.za
Facebook: BMW Car Club Gauteng
Event Photographs: www.racepics.co.za