Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series - Round 04 - Red Star - 2020-09-19

The Bridgestone BMW Club Series complements a thrilling day’s racing at Red Star Raceway

Bridgestone BMW Club Racing SeriesBridgestone – Round 04 – Red Star – 2020-09-19

Just 2 weeks after a successful race day at , the Bridgestone BMW Club Series Championship resumed at in Saturday’s Historic and Inland Regionals race day. It proved to be an eventful meeting, with intermittent power failures and time keeping delays exacerbating the chaos on a day in which the impatience of numerous drivers resulted in time penalties for various infringements.

Andreas Meier, in the Class B semi slick shod #TrainedAmateurs BMW E36 STC maintained his unstoppable form, clinching pole position in the morning’s qualifying session with a time of 2:04.049. Rick Loureiro driving the older Class A BMW E30 325is was second on the grid, 0.924 secs adrift. Ian Kotwal (Retoria Motors BMW F22 235i) again headed Class C with Renier Smith (BMW E36 M3) just behind him, both ahead of faster Class B machinery.  Matthew Wadeley (BMW E36 328i), also enjoying a good run of form, led the class D pack, while a nice surprise in Class E saw the Bertie Rietveld Knives BMW E36 328i beat favourite Nicholas van Zyl (Luxury Fragrances BMW E87 128i) with the quickest lap time.

Race 1

An early afternoon start played out without incident and Meier jumped into an immediate lead, closely followed by Loureiro. Behind them there was some furious action with Salvi Gualtieri (SavSpeed BMW E36 328i Turbo) holding off Jan Eversteyn (African Surprise BMW E46 M3) in Class B, and Ian Kotwal looking menacing in Class C and in a hurry to get on terms with them. Also, in Class C, Troy Cochran (Arrow Automotive BMW E36 M3), Renier Smith and Neil Reynolds (Valve Hospital BMW E36 M3) were nose to tail and reeling in Class B’s Carlo Garbini (Kimbo Coffee BMW E46 330i Turbo) and Oz Biagioni (Bio Pool Maintenance BMW E46 M3) ahead of them.

Class A: Rick Loureiro (Combined Racing BMW E30 325is)
Class A: Rick Loureiro (Combined Racing BMW E30 325is)

In Class D Wadeley and Varish Ganpath (Prodigy BMW E46 325ci) were enjoying a good scrap, with William Einkamerer (Liqui Moly BMW E46 330i) not far behind them and fending off debutante ( BMW E36 328i). In Class E Nicholas van Zyl, zealously trying to defend his overall championship lead, did not take long to get past Rietveld, with Manny Ribeiro (Bridgestone BMW E46 325i Touring) also in hot pursuit. Colin van Son (Bridgestone BMW E36 328i) and Nicholas Fischer (Inside Active Group BMW E36 328i) were doing battle just behind them.

After 8 pulsating laps, Meier won from Loureiro, with Jan Eversteyn a solid third and Oz Biagioni crossing the line in fourth place. Ian Kotwal took the class C honours ahead of Troy Cochran and Neil Reynolds. In Class D Wadeley took no prisoners and led throughout to win from Ganpath. Young Nicholas van Zyl won the Class E dice, beating Ribeiro and Nicholas Fischer. After the race Salvi Gualtieri and Carlo Garbini were penalised 30 secs each for jump starts. The pair would again feature prominently (not) in race 2.

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


Race 1 Results per Class:

Class A:

1. Rick Loureiro – 02:03.879


Class B:

1. Andreas Meier – 02:04.775

2. Jan Eversteyn – 02:07.533

3. Oz Biagioni – 02:08.885

Class C:

1. Ian Kotwal – 02:09.637

2. Troy Cochran – 02:11.015

3. Neil Reynolds – 02:11.463

Class D:

1. Matthew Wadeley – 02:12.028

2. Varish Ganpath – 02:12.917

3. William Einkamerer – 02:14.507

Class E:

1. Nicholas Van Zyl – 02:19.242

2. Manny Ribeiro – 02:19.165

3. Nicholas Fischer – 02:21.048

Fastest Lap: Rick Loureiro – 02:03.879 in Lap 6

Race 2

Under ominous clouds, a strong wind and an approaching thunderstorm, Red Star Raceway was a dust bowl by the time the field went out for race 2 and everyone cast anxious looks at the sky. However much the parched east needs some water at the moment, 16:00 last Saturday was not the best time for it to arrive. At the start of the race there was drama almost immediately. As they hurtled into turn 1, Ian Kotwal failed to stop and drove into Renier Smith, spinning off the track into a precarious spot which brought out yellow flags and the safety car. Before the rest had realized it, they completed lap 1 at race speed, and Salvi Gualtieri, seemingly with brake problems of his own, then drove into the hapless Garbini at the end of the back straight, putting both out on the spot.

Salvi Gualtieri, seemingly with brake problems drove into the hapless Garbini
Salvi Gualtieri, seemingly with brake problems drove into the hapless Garbini

After their race one penalties these two warriors had a day to forget, and in less than one lap we had lost 3 cars. After another 4 kms at a more sedate pace behind SC, they were let loose again and this time Loureiro took an immediate lead, followed by Biagioni who was being creative with his race lines, Eversteyn and Meier who in turn was determined to overturn the deficit of a reverse grid start.

Biagioni being creative with his race lines
Biagioni being creative with his race lines

Behind the leading quartet Troy Cochran was doing an excellent job of leading Class C, perhaps by virtue of a jump start for which he was penalized 30 secs post event. In Class D, Klippies Krige (BMW E36 M3) was looking mighty, holding Ganpath and Einkamerer at bay. In Class E Manny Ribeiro led the charge with the brat pack hot on his heels. There was frantic action everywhere one looked.

At the front Meier was soon on Loureiro’s case, after dispensing with Eversteyn and Biagioni, but after a battle to the flag The German could not get past the leader, the lone Class A red BMW F30 325is with the Portuguese driver in control throughout.

Behind the pair, Eversteyn, the African Surprise/Big Boss Auto man, came home in third spot, with Renier Smith putting the turn 1 incident behind him and finishing an excellent 4th overall and first in Class C. Somewhat cruelly, he then also suffered a 30 seconds penalty for overtaking under yellow flags in his haste to get back to his original starting spot after the collision with Kotwal. That demoted him to 11th in the race classification and promoted Varish Ganpath to 4th overall in the race, his best finish ever. He also took the Class D laurels for good measure. Einkamerer finished runner up, with Krige completing the Class D podium.

Class D: Varish Ganpath (Prodigy BMW E46 325ci)
Class D: Varish Ganpath (Prodigy BMW E46 325ci)

Troy Cochrane, despite his 30 sec penalty, still finished in 5th place, and won the Class C battle. In Class E, Manny Ribeiro came home in first place ahead of Nicholas Fischer and Colin van Son. Not to be outdone by the faster cars, Fischer was also docked 30 secs for overtaking under the yellow flags, which allowed van Son into the runner up spot, ahead of championship leader Nicholas van Zyl who, you guessed it, suffered the same fate as Fischer, also for overtaking under yellows. Everyone, it seemed, wanted to get in on the act.

Class C: Troy Cochran (Arrow Automotive BMW E36 M3)
Class C: Troy Cochran (Arrow Automotive BMW E36 M3)

As for the impending storm, much to everyone’s relief it stayed away long enough not to affect the race further and we await the onset of the rainy season in all its glory. Ian Kotwal was given a yellow card for his indiscretion at the start, after deliberation by the stewards. He will now be under observation for the next 3 events.

After all the chaos, Manny Ribeiro emerged as a deserving Driver of the Day, keeping it all together admirably in both 8 lappers. Lyle Ramsay made an excellent debut in the series and much is expected of the young man going forward.

Class E: Manny Ribeiro (Bridgestone BMW E46 325i Touring)
Class E: Manny Ribeiro (Bridgestone BMW E46 325i Touring)


Race 2 Results per Class:

Class A:

1. Rick Loureiro – 02:04.724


Class B:

1. Andreas Meier – 02:05.375

2. Jan Eversteyn – 02:08.323

3. Oz Biagioni – 02:09.075

Class C:

1. Troy Cochran – 02:09.878

2. Lyle Ramsay – 02:09.923    

3. Renier Smith – 02:09.279

Class D:

1. Varish Ganpath – 02:12.642

2. William Einkamerer – 02:14.828

3. Klippies Krige – 02:16.926

Class E:

1. Manny Ribeiro – 02:18.643

2. Colin van Son – 02:19.822

3. Nicholas Van Zyl – 02:19.622

Fastest Lap: Rick Loureiro – 02:04.724 in Lap 7

In the overall championship stakes, Grade 12 Prefect Nicholas van Zyl still leads with 72 points, from Meier on 68, Eversteyn on 62 and Ganpath on 60. Ian Kotwal is just 1 point behind in fifth place.

With the classes and overall title chase still wide open, the final round of the championship now takes place in 2 months’ time on November 14 also at Red Star Raceway, hopefully without any similar mishaps to those which blighted Saturday’s event.

Story by Tony Alves.

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