Round 05 of the Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series at the Phakisa Freeway on September 18

The Bridgestone BMW’s blow off the cobwebs in style in the Goldfields

BMW Car Club Gauteng and Bridgestone BMW Club Racing SeriesBridgestone BMW Club Racing Series – Round 05 – Phakisa – 2021-09-18

After a 3-month hiatus, the Bridgestone visited the Phakisa Freeway for a second time this year, and everyone relished the experience.

A cold and blustery start to Saturday’s proceedings saw Rick Loureiro place his slick shod Class A Combined Racing BMW F30 335i Production in pole position ahead of Adrian Dalton (Xtra Clothing and Shoes BMW E46 M3 CSL) and Devin Robertson (BTAS BMW E92 335i) who was deputising for the Covid stricken William Einkamerer.

In Class B Carlo Garbini (Kimbo Coffee BMW E46 330 Turbo) made a good start to the day with the fastest lap ahead of Jagger Robertson (Viking/Big Boss Auto BMW E46 M3) and Andreas Meier (#TrainedAmateurs BMW E36 STC). In Class C Alan Hilligenn (C3 Shared Services BMW E46 328i Turbo) had the quickest time, too quick in fact, which promoted him to Class B. Matthew Wadeley (BMW E36 M3) duly took the pole sitter’s position.

In Class D Varish Ganpath (Prodigy BMW E46 325ci) led Neil Reynolds (Valve Hospital BMW E36 M3), a precursor to a good day’s racing ahead for the pair. Class E would be led by Thomas Potgieter (Stonehill Properties BMW E87 128i) on the starting grid.

Round 05 of the Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series at the Phakisa Freeway on September 18
Round 05 of the Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series at the Phakisa Freeway on September 18

 

Race 1

As the day grew moderately warmer, the field set off for race 1 shortly after noon, and Devin Robertson got the jump on Dalton and Loureiro to lead lap 1. It got busy right off the lights in Class B with Garbini leading a whole train of angry passengers. In Class C Lyle Ramsay (Fuchs Lubricants/Rich Racing BMW E36 330i) led the pack but was penalized post event for a jump start. Varish Ganpath and Neil Reynolds soon began a race long duel, while in Class E Hein van der Merwe (Stigworx BMW E36 325i) had taken the lead, albeit under pressure from the evergreen Mike Grobler (Grobler Motorsport BMW E36 328i), a day short of his 70th birthday.

Class A: Rick Loureiro (Combined Racing BMW F30 335i Production)
Class A: Rick Loureiro (Combined Racing BMW F30 335i Production)

At the front Dalton then ran into technical problems and retired, at which point Loureiro took over the lead. Garbini was making a fist of it, keeping Meier and the chasing mob at bay, although The German’s relentless pursuit eventually paid off. Class C was another terrific affair, complicated by the presence of Fabio Fedetto’s faster BMW F82 M4 in its midst, the Italian struggling on slick tyres, which had put him in Class A at the start. Matthew Wadeley, Nek Makris (BMW E46 328i Turbo) and Renier Smith (BMW E36 M3) had resumed their epic scrap from Zwartkops in June and were enjoying it. In Class D Neil Reynolds had passed Ganpath and so it stayed to the flag. Hein van der Merwe had things under control in Class E, with Thomas Potgieter also out with mechanical problems.

After 8 thrilling laps, Loureiro won from Devin Robertson with Stefano Martinelli (Dalucon Insulated Panels BMW E90 335i) third, his first outing after a long time on the sidelines. In Class B Andreas Meier crossed the line first ahead of Jagger Robertson and Salvi Gualtieri (SAV Speed/Eataly Foods BMW E36 328i Turbo). Early leader Garbini lost places with an electrical issue. Class C was won by Nek Makris after a race long duel with his sparring partners Wadeley and Smith. Lyle Ramsay was given a 30 sec penalty for a jump start. Neil Reynolds won a thrilling race in Class D with Varish Ganpath second. Van der Merwe is making good use of his sponsor Stigworx’s tutelage and won Class E with Mike Grobler right behind him.

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

 

Race 1 Results per Class:

Class A:

1. Rick Loureiro – 01:41.746

2. Devin Robertson – 01:43.365

3. Stef Martinelli – 01:45.938

Class B:

1. Andreas Meier – 01: 47.971

2. Jagger Robertson – 01:48.228

3. Salvi Gualtieri – 01:48.544

Class C:

1. Nek Makris – 01:51.392

2. Matthew Wadeley – 01:51.687      

3. Shaun Lamprecht – 01:51.819

Class D:

1. Neil Reynolds – 01:55.276

2. Varish Ganpath – 01:55.454

3. Arri van Heerden – 01:57.219

Class E:

1. Hein van der Merwe – 02:01.781

2. Mike Grobler – 02:02.178

3. Nicholas Fischer – 02:04.559

Fastest Lap: Rick Loureiro – 01:41.746 in Lap 2

Race 2

The second race promised just as much excitement and so it delivered. Fabio Fedetto led them away but was soon mobbed by Robertson, and Loureiro. In Class B Alan Hilligenn led the charge from the inverted grid by class, with Garbini and the rest of the large group in hot pursuit.

In a quirky twist of the rules Renier Smith had broken out of the Class C ranks in race 1, but instead of making the step up to Class B, elected to incur a penalty and start at the back of his usual stomping ground. However, under the inversion by class rule he found himself at the front fighting for the lead with fellow penalty recipient Lyle Ramsay!

Class C: Matthew Wadeley (BMW E36 M3)
Class C: Matthew Wadeley (BMW E36 M3)

In Class D Shane Grobler led the charge while Ganpath and Reynolds had resumed their joust behind him, while in Class E Mike Grobler took command with Hein van der Merwe in close attendance, much like it had been in the morning. After a brief safety car period, following a spin by Nicholas Fischer, the race got underway again and at the flag Loureiro won from Garbini (B) and Martinelli, after Devin Robertson had slipped back with tyre trouble.  Meier finished fourth on the road and second in Class B albeit with a misfire. He still took the overall win in the class for the day. Jagger Robertson and Oz Biagioni followed him home.

Class C was won by Renier Smith with Lyle Ramsay hot on his heels. Wadeley completed the podium. Nek Makris had suffered some damage to his engine in the first 8 lapper and retired with terminal issues after just 5 laps. A blown engine was not what he needed to end the weekend. Trevor Long’s strong drive was tempered by a jump start and the inevitable penalty. Neil Reynolds again got the better of Ganpath in Class D and Mike Grobler beat Hein van der Merwe in Class E in a reversal of the first race’s finishing order.

Class D: Neil Reynolds (Valve Hospital BMW E36 M3)
Class D: Neil Reynolds (Valve Hospital BMW E36 M3)

 

Race 2 Results per Class:

Class A:

1. Rick Loureiro – 01:43.654

2. Stef Martinelli – 01:46.799

3. Devin Robertson – 01:45.273

Class B:

1. Carlo Garbini – 01:48.814

2. Andreas Meier – 01:46.811

3. Jagger Robertson – 01:49.631

Class C:

1. Renier Smith – 01:51.618

2. Lyle Ramsay – 01:51.866    

3. Matthew Wadeley – 01:53.028

Class D:

1. Neil Reynolds – 01:55.370

2. Varish Ganpath – 01:55.543

3. Manny Ribeiro – 01:57.709

Class E:

1. Mike Grobler – 02:03.815

2. Hein van der Merwe – 02:02.424

3. Nicholas Fischer – 02:09.058

Fastest Lap: Rick Loureiro – 01:43.654 in Lap 2

Class E: Hein van der Merwe (Stigworx BMW E36 325i)
Class E: Hein van der Merwe (Stigworx BMW E36 325i)

The time trials were won overall by Farhaan Basha (A) Andreas Meier (C) Hermann Kohloffel (L) Adriaan Le Roux (M) and Philip Smit (N).

The Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series returns to Zwartkops Raceway in a months’ time as part of the Extreme Festival weekend on 23 October.

Story by Tony Alves.

Report and Event Photographs: www.RacePics.co.za

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BMW Car Club Gauteng

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