Willie Erasmus became the sixth race winner in 2019. Picture: Reynard Gelderblom

Erasmus victorious as Liqui Moly INEX Legends thrill at Zwartkops Raceway

Willie Erasmus became the sixth race winner in 2019. Picture: Reynard Gelderblom
Willie Erasmus became the sixth race winner in 2019. Picture: Reynard Gelderblom

A first win for the 2019 season and two further podium finishes saw Willie Erasmus take the honours in Round 5 of the championship at in Pretoria.

Jagger Robertson added a further two victories to his tally for the season which also see him moving into the lead of championship after the May 17-18 race weekend.

Saturday morning’s draw for the Race 1 grid saw Justin Robertson lining up in pole position with Sean Moore alongside him. Jagger Robertson drew ball number 3 ahead of Erasmus; the latter having shown good pace throughout Friday’s practice sessions. Richard van Heerde and Andre Larsson rounded out the top-six.

Jagger Robertson moved into the lead on the first lap of the eight-lap race while Erasmus slotted into second place in the running order. On Lap 5, Moore was involved in an incident that caused significant damage to his car and forced him out of the race as well as the remainder of the day. Contact between him and Justin Robertson also saw the latter experiencing problems and sliding down to last place on track. Meanwhile the battle between Jagger Robertson and Erasmus heated up as the race concluded. On the final lap, the pair went side-by-side up the hill towards Turn 5. It was however Robertson who retained the lead through the last sector and into the final corner to take the win. Further back, Chris Hoy had his mirrors filled with Richard van Heerde with only 0.045 of a second separating them as they crossed the line. Johann van de Venter finished in fifth place ahead of Ian Upton.

Jagger Robertson took the championship lead. Picture: Reynard Gelderblom
Jagger Robertson took the championship lead. Picture: Reynard Gelderblom

The second ten-lap race saw another blistering start from Jagger Robertson to move into an early lead. This was however very short lived as an electrical wiring problem caused him to lose power and positions. Erasmus moved into the lead to become the fifth race winner for the 2019 season. The battle between Hoy and Van Heerde continued, this time with them both finishing on the podium in second and third places respectively. Justin Robertson finished just behind them in fourth place while Van de Venter took another fifth place. Larsson rounded out the top-six.

Extensive delays in the day’s programme saw Race 3 being reduced to eight laps and taking place in dusky conditions. With his earlier issues resolved, Jagger Robertson again slotted into an early lead from where he controlled the pace up front and took his second victory of the day. Erasmus had to work hard to find his way past Larsson to finish as runner up. Larsson held off Justin Robertson to take his first podium finish since joining the championship at the start of the 2019 season. This time round it was Van Heerde who had the better of Hoy with the pair concluding the top-six.

Richard van Heerde won the Masters Class. Picture: Reynard Gelderblom
Richard van Heerde won the Masters Class. Picture: Reynard Gelderblom

Erasmus took the overall win for the day ahead of Jagger Robertson. Hoy’s superb form saw him take to the third step of the podium during the prize giving ceremony. Erasmus also took the Professional Class win while Van Heerde took the Master Class win. Jagger Robertson was the sole Semi-Professional Class entrant for the day.

The day had quite a significant impact on the championship standings with Jagger Robertson now leading Justin Robertson by five points. Erasmus moved into third place ahead of Van Heerde and Hoy. Upton struggled with mechanical issues throughout the day but finds himself in sixth place. A notable absentee in Round 5 was Jason Loosemore who could not participate due to academic commitments. This saw him drop down the order from third to eighth behind Van de Venter.

Andre Larsson took his first podium finish. Picture: Reynard Gelderblom
Andre Larsson took his first podium finish. Picture: Reynard Gelderblom

Round 6 of the 2019 Liqui Moly INEX Legends championship will mark the halfway point in the season and will be the first of two consecutive coastal rounds. This will take place at in Port Shepstone on June 21-22.

INEX Legends Racing South Africa would like to thank the following partners for making the 2019 season possible: Liqui Moly, , , and .

Story by Reynard Gelderblom on behalf of INEX Legends Racing South Africa

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Reynard Gelderblom

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PR Consultant, social media manager, photographer, video producer. Based in Centurion, Gauteng