BMW M Performance Parts Race Series - Round 09 - Zwartkops Raceway - 2022-11-12

It’s high noon at Zwartkops for BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series

BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series – Round 09 – Zwartkops Raceway – 2022-11-12

After a hugely successful BMW M 50 Jahre Festival weekend at Kyalami in mid-October, Zwartkops hosts the final round of this year’s BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series on 12 November, with 42 cars entered and plenty still at stake across all 5 classes. With each driver’s worst result of the season still to be factored in, some title chases are all still finely poised. In the overall title picture, there is a 5-way tussle for honours. 

In Class A Fabio Fedetto (BMW F82 M4) leads with 83 points by virtue of consistency more than outright pace.  William Einkamerer (BTAS BMW E92 335i) trails him by 5 points, having fallen foul of technical glitches more than once this year. Thomas Potgieter (Stonehill Properties BMW F82 M4) is not in the championship reckoning but will be at Zwartkops to spoil the title contenders’ best laid plans. Arri van der Berg (A & A Dealings BMW E36 M3 Turbo) has had a good debut season and will want to finish on a high. Leon Loubser (Bidwheels BMW E92 335i) has contested the last 2 rounds and scored podium placings and should do the same again in the year’s swansong.

Class A: Leon Loubser (Bidwheels BMW E92 335i)
Class A: Leon Loubser (Bidwheels BMW E92 335i)

In Class B, the ever-present and multiple champion Andreas Meier (#TrainedAmateurs BMW E36 STC) heads the title chase with 119 points but Carlo Garbini (Kimbo Coffee BMW E46 330i Turbo) with 105 points is not far behind, and a brace of wins at Kyalami will have boosted his confidence no end. Behind the pair, a strong cast will have designs of their own looking to finish the year on a solid note, with no championship permutations to consider. Jan Eversteyn (African Surprise E46 M3) should be his usual ever-present threat.

Class B: Jan Eversteyn (African Surprise E46 M3)
Class B: Jan Eversteyn (African Surprise E46 M3)

Lyle Ramsay (Rich Racing/Fuchs Lubricants E36 325i Turbo) comes back after technical struggles hampered his progress in recent rounds. Lorenzo Gualtieri will drive the very fast SavSpeed/Pick and Pay Oakfield BMW E46 328i Turbo. Alan Hilligenn has been beset by mechanical problems but is back in the Class C ranks in the immaculate and distinctive orange C3 Shared Services BMW E46 328i Turbo. Notable absentees will be young Jagger Robertson (LiquiMoly/Big Boss Auto/Viking BMW E46 M3) and former class champion Nek Makris (BMW E46 335i) who reaches an important milestone on Friday 11 November and wisely has decided to spend race day reflecting on his 50 not out.  

Class C, numbers have swelled this year, but heading them is a familiar face, Renier Smith (BMW E36 M3 Turbo) whose form throughout the season has propelled him to overall championship contention.  A DNF in race 1 at Kyalami in the last round hurt his chances but he is nevertheless still in the fight after winning race 2. Behind him in the class log are Trevor Long (Roof Surgeon/Big Boss Auto BMW E36 M3), and Hein van der Merwe (BMW E36 325i Turbo) both of whom owe their positions impressively to sheer consistency. Mish-al Sing had a big accident at Kyalami driving Rick Loureiro’s BMW E30 325is and may elect to miss this last round, but another stalwart Troy Cochran (Arrow Automotive/NGK/ATE BMW E36 M3) will be on the grid, as will Dewit Oosthuizen (Spanjaard, Jonnesway Tools, Share Tracking BMW E92 M3) who has been something of a revelation in his debut season.

Class C: Trevor Long (Roof Surgeon/Big Boss Auto BMW E36 M3)
Class C: Trevor Long (Roof Surgeon/Big Boss Auto BMW E36 M3)

Varish Ganpath (Prodigy BMW E46 330ci Turbo) is enjoying life in the Class C ranks in which he has competed intermittently this year. Dawie Olivier (International Race Supplies BMW E30 M3) suffered a blown engine at Kyalami and is ruled out of the season finale. Neil Reynolds (Valve Hospital BMW E46 330i Turbo) and Nick Naidoo (Wardens Cartage BMW E92 1M) are two more competitive names set to add much spice to the day’s 2 races. Vigen Naidu pilots the beautiful SA Auto Tech BMW E36 M3 and has also had a season in which he will have learnt a great deal which will stand him in good stead going forward.

In Class D another star of long standing, Shane Grobler (Mayfair Gearbox BMW E30 330i), has put his name firmly in overall championship contention by dint of good and sensible driving, posting no less than 4 wins and as many runner-up places in an excellent season. Minor placings have augmented his challenge, and one suspects a Class win will not be enough. Nicholas Herbst (Greenhouse BMW E90 330i) has also been rock-solid notably at Kyalami last month and he lies second in the Class standings, ready to end his season in the best possible way. Manny Ribeiro (BMW Car Club Gauteng BMW E46 330i Touring) is another veteran of many years who has eyes on the runner-up spot. Craig Herbst (Victron Energy BMW E46 330i) survived a big accident at Kyalami and will likely switch his focus to 2023 with a new car. Bernard de Gouveia (de Gouveia Accountants BMW E46 330cs) is as good a Race Series Chairman as he is a driver and although a change of cars and mechanical issues blighted his season, he has given it his all and at Zwartkops will do likewise. Jaco Storm (True Wood Furniture BWM E46 330i Turbo) has served notice of intent for the upcoming season with some strong drives and Eugene Gouws (Master Mowers E36 M3 Turbo) has also shone on occasion this year.

Class D: Manny Ribeiro (BMW Car Club Gauteng BMW E46 330i Touring)
Class D: Manny Ribeiro (BMW Car Club Gauteng BMW E46 330i Touring)

In Class E Nicholas Fischer (Inside Active Group BMW E36 328i) has ruled the roost all season and has taken the Class championship. He also leads the overall championship albeit by a narrow margin after a DNF at Phakisa in race 2 and somewhat lacklustre results at Kyalami dented his title aspirations. Dave Rehse (D&K Racing BMW E36 328i) has run him close on occasion and indeed took a win in race 2 in the Free State in September. Shaun Dodd (MSW Motorsport BMW E90 325i) was a double winner at Kyalami and will carry the momentum to the last round. Arri van Heerden (V-Tech Motorsport BMW E30 318i) and Mike Grobler (Grobler Motorsport BMW E36/7 Z3) are two other stalwarts hoping to see out the season in style, and they will be joined by master craftsman Bertie Rietveld ( BMW E36 330i). Zaheer Seedat (Salt-Water Marketing BMW E36 328i) made his debut at Kyalami and returns to tackle the challenge of the Pretoria West venue. Other relatively new names in the cast include Farhaad Ebrahim (The Car Collector BMW E36 328i), and Javelin Ramsamy (Wardens Cartage BMW E36 328i), both of whom competed at the M Festival at Kyalami and are no strangers to the rigours of battle. Zeyad Ismail (BMW E36 328i) raced at both Kyalami rounds this year and is back to tame the less expansive surrounds of The Big Z. Benjamin Luyt (ITA Security BMW E46 M3) made his debut at Kyalami and was not overwhelmed by the experience.

Class E: Dave Rehse (D&K Racing BMW E36 328i)
Class E: Dave Rehse (D&K Racing BMW E36 328i)

Dewald Smith (Amtec BMW E36 M3), Johan Miller (Hei-Jo Trans BMW E36 328i) and Reynard Miller (BMW E30 325i) are 3 rookies who have entered the fray and will be given class berths post qualifying.

In the overall championship Nicholas Fischer (121 points) leads from Andreas Meier (119 points), with Shane Grobler (113 points) in third spot. Renier Smith is fourth (109 points) and Carlo Garbini (105) completes the top 5 likely winners. As mentioned previously each driver will have to drop the worst result in the season’s 9 rounds after scoring the last one. A cliff hanger is no less than these indomitable warriors deserve.

Points Table per Class

Class A:

1. Fabio Fedetto – 83

2. William Einkamerer – 78

3. Thomas Potgieter 48.1

Class B:

1. Andreas Meier – 119

2. Carlo Garbini – 105 

3. Jagger Robertson – 84

Class C:

1. Renier Smith – 109

2. Trevor Long – 76     

3. Hein Van Der Merwe – 60

Class D:

1. Shane Grobler – 113

2. Nicholas Herbst – 86

3. Manny Ribeiro – 79

Class E:

1. Nicholas Fischer – 121

2. Dave Rehse – 53

3. Mike Grobler – 45

The BMW ///M Performance Race Series will share the weekend with the final Extreme Festival of the season. Qualifying will take place on Friday the 11th with a full day of racing lined up for Saturday the 12th. Race Categories expected on the day will be Mobil1 V8 Supercars, Silver Cup Racing Series, INEX Legends, DOE Formula Vee, Lotus Challenge, PABAR VW Challenge, On Track Clubmans Racing including NSCC, Car Care Clinic 111/GT Sports and Saloons and Car Care Clinic Superhatch.

Story by Tony Alves.

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