Midvaal Raceway hosted the first round of this year’s EV Dynamics Inland Championship on Saturday 17 February and 19 races spread over 9 different categories kept a large crowd entertained throughout the Amtec Raceday.
The opening round of the Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series played off at the Midvaal Raceway outside Vereeniging the past weekend. Over 30 cars would enter the first round of this popular one-make series and boast with 6 newcomers for this season. Most of them wearing a worried look on their faces before qualifying. They were quickly welcomed into their new family of great racing on track and great friendship off the track.
The first race got off to a furious start, but it would be Julian Fameliaris once again proving he is the man to beat out front. He took both race wins on the trot. Paulo Loureiro was back with a score to settle and dominated class B winning both races as well. All eyes were however on Antonie Marx that got a penalty after qualifying for exceeding the track limits. This however motivated him and he put in a brilliant performance, starting from the back of the grid and taking the class C win. He continued with his performance and took a comfortable victory in race 2 as well. After sitting out last year, Warren Dodd was also back with new-found motivation and took a comfortable class D win in the first race. He, however, got hounded by Troy Cochran in the second race and had to work hard for a well-deserved win.
Driver of the day went to Salvi Gualtieri, dubbed “Shortcut Salvi” in an astounding debut race performance.
In the Motul MPC/SRA & Silvercup events lone Class A entrant Keegan Pottas (Honda) was untroubled, winning easily from Adrian Dalton(Golf) and Dirk Lawrence(Honda) in Class B both times. In Class C Paul van Niekerk (Golf) ruled the roost with another double win, but in Class D Ebrahim Peck (Polo) took the first race, while Giles Darroch (Golf) won race 2 ahead of Franco di Matteo (Ford).
The Big Boss Auto Super Saloons made up for a relatively thin field with two enthralling races. In race 1 Marius Jacobs (Tigra) only just beat Marius Jackson’s Audi, both in Class B and Adrian Dalton’s Golf which also ran in the MPC races. The trio were covered by less than a second across the line, after running much of the race like that. Dawie Fourie (Honda) took Class C honours. In heat 2 Adrian Dalton crossed the finish line first, ahead of J.P Nortjie (VW) with Marius Jackson completing the podium. Richard Cooley was the Class C winner, with Piet Nortjie taking the Class D honours.
Three pulsating heats characterised the LiquiMoly Inex Legends contribution to the day’s varied programme. In heat 1 Gerhard Roux drew first blood for the season, ahead of Justin Robertson who has lost none of his competitive edge after some years away. Richard van Heerde was third. In heat 2, Robertson was an untroubled winner ahead of newcomer Jason Loosemore, a youngster of whom much will be heard in 2018. Masters 2017 champion Charl Roux finished third. Another fine contribution came from 12 year old Jagger Robertson who did his father Justin proud by finishing 5th in only his second start, after the morning’s opening heat. As is customary in the Inland Championship, the Inex Legends get 3 bites of the cherry, and heat 3 was a no holds barred affair right throughout the field. Ian Upton initially led, but Loosemore took the lead after a couple of laps, and was soon joined in pursuit of the win by Richard van Heerde. Justin Robertson soon joined them after starting at the back and after some serious slip streaming down the long straight it was the he who took charge with a couple of laps to go, to lead Loosemore and van Heerde across the line by less than a second. Charl Roux put on a charge through the field, after dropping to last with an early spin, and finished fourth ahead of his brother Gerhard. Young Jagger Robertson was sixth to cap an outstanding debut. Another newcomer, Dane van Heerde, also joined his father Richard on the Inex Legends grid, and finished 7th in heat 1, but retired from heat 2 with a blown engine.
The MotorMart VW Challenge made a guest appearance at Midvaal and kicked off their 2018 campaign with two closely contested races which should augur well for the season ahead. Stiaan Kriel took both the wins in Class A, while Roberto Joaquim did likewise in Class B and Philip Croeser in Class C. The brace of wins for each of them however belies the extremely close racing in the 21 car field, and there will be varied winners in the course of the season.
The ever popular Midvaal Historics as usual did not disappoint, and in heat 1 Seef Fourie Snr. took his Datsun to victory ahead of Gavin Lundin and Brendon Parker both driving different models of the same make. Ken Price who had done an excellent job of challenging Fourie Snr. initially, retired after 4 laps. Mario Rossi took the Alfa Trofeo Challenge honours with an excellent fourth place. In heat 2 the finishing order for podium placings was the same as in heat 1, with Rene Janse van Rensburg fourth while Travis and Peder Jensen rounded out the top 6. Mario Rossi again was the winner of the Alfa Trofeo Challenge.
The autObarn Super Hatch brigade also made the most of their inclusion in the bumper day’s programme, fielding no less than 22 entries and thrilled with two competitive outings, both of which were won by Brett Garland (Honda) ahead of Werner Pieterse (Golf) both in Class A. In Class B, Nic Martin also took a brace for the day, and Reno van Heerden (Polo) repeated the feat in Class C.
Not to be outdone by the other well supported categories, the Lotus Challenge brought another 22 cars of their own to the party at Midvaal, to underline the sheer enthusiasm which is so characteristic of regional racing, as highlighted in a recent preview in The Citizen. In Class Lotus B Jeffrey Kruger fended off Rob Gearing and Thomas Falkiner both times, with David Jeremy in fourth ahead of Johan Nel in race 1 and Byron Oliver in race 2. In Class Lotus L, former V8 Champion Mackie Adlem fought his way to both wins ahead of Rudi Barnard in race 1 and Roland Hopkins in race 2. The latter was third in the opening race while Ben Knights took the spot in the afternoon event.
The Formula Monoposto races, for Formula Libre and Formula M machines, produced two different outright winners. Louis van van der Merwe (Libre A) won the opening 10 lapper ahead of Sean Harrington (FormulaM B) and Mac Odendaal (Libre B). The latter then beat both Harrington, who was again runner up, and van der Merwe in race 2. Carel van Heerden (Libre C) was fourth in race 1, John Maurien (Libre B) was fifth and Koos Posthumus (FormulaM B) sixth. In race 2 Maurien trailed the leading trio in fourth spot, with Shane Helberg (Libre) coming home in fifth ahead of Posthumus, who again rounded out the top 6.
The EV Dynamics Inland Championship returns for round 2 at the Phakisa Freeway on the 10th March.
Story by Tony Alves – EV Dynamics Inland championship