Zwartkops sets the 2022 BMW Series season off to a good start

BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series – Round 01 – Zwartkops – 2022-01-29

With over 300 entries across multiple categories the 2022 got the ball rolling for SA Motorsport this year in the best possible way, in front of an appreciative crowd whose presence it was so good to see.

The BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series played a big part in the day’s proceedings with some new names delivering stellar performances.

In qualifying on Friday afternoon William Einkamerer was the lone Class A entrant after Sav Gualtieri couldn’t get his car ready on time. But #555 could not set a time after a kill switch issue and water pump problem side-lined him. That left the track to the Class B field following the decision to split qualifying into A & B and then C, D & E. Andreas Meier wasted no time in going about his business and duly put his distinctive Enviro colours car in pole position. Carlo Garbini was also looking strong and slotted into second place on the grid just a whisker behind The German. Thomas Potgieter was a solid third.

In Class C Lyle Ramsay set the quickest time, too quick in fact and he broke out and is now in Class B going forward. Matthew Wadeley was next up to lead the class. Nek Makris set the third quickest time but a head gasket problem ruled him out of any action for the weekend. The luckless Troy Cochran was fourth on the grid but he too dropped out with gearbox problems. In Class D two new names came to the fore. Dawie Olivier took pole position and he was shadowed by Riaan Lubbe with Craig Herbst next up and all set for what turned out to be a good day. Varish Ganpath was another regular out with mechanical maladies. In Class E Eugene Gouws led Nicholas Fischer and Vigan Naidu, looking promising on his debut.

Class A: William Einkamerer (BTAS E92 335i)

Race 1

Under an ominous and persistent grey sky off they went for race 1 with Meier getting into a lead he was not to relinquish. Garbini gave chase with Thomas Potgieter then getting into a tangle with Jagger Robertson at turn 2 and spinning out of the race with less than a lap in. Wadeley took control in Class C with Renier Smith and Trevor Long following closely. In Class D Riaan Lubbe had passed Dawie Olivier who was struggling with a clutch issue and led on his debut.

Nicholas Fischer was in charge in Class E with Bernard de Gouveia giving chase. Nicholas van Zyl managed 9 of the 10 laps before retiring with electrical problems. Mindful of the Kyalami 9-hour event in less than a week’s time no one got reckless, and they reeled off the laps without major incident. William Einkamerer had an eventful morning on his way to 9th place from near the back of the field after being unable to qualify.  With 10 laps completed Andreas Meier won from Garbini and Salvi Gualtieri. Kyalami next weekend should see the trio at the sharp end again with a few other regulars joining them. 

Class B: Andreas Meier (#TrainedAmateurs E36 STC)


Matthew Wadeley won Class C with Renier Smith in second place and Trevor Long completing the podium.  Riaan Lubbe had the best possible start in the Series taking the win in Class D ahead of Craig Herbst and Shane Grobler. Nicholas Fischer took the Class E victory with de Gouveia filling the next step of the podium.

Race 1 Results per Class:

Class A:

1. William Einkamerer – 01:06.426


Class B:

1. Andreas Meier – 01:06.888

2. Carlo Garbini – 01:06.486

3. Salvi Gualtieri – 01:07.733

Class C:

1. Matthew Wadeley – 01:10.561

2. Renier Smith – 01:10.736   

3. Trevor Long – 01:12.577

Class D:

1. Riaan Lubbe – 01:13.674

2. Craig Herbst – 01:13.127

3. Shane Grobler – 01:13.069

Class E:

1. Nicholas Fischer – 01:15.715

2. Bernard de Gouveia – 01:17.747

3. Nicholas van Zyl – 01:22.571

Fastest Lap: Carlo Garbini – 01:06.486 in Lap 7

Class C: Matthew Wadeley (Groupworx E36 M3)

Race 2

After a lengthy gap to accommodate an extremely busy programme and delays due to oil spills and numerous Safety Car periods, heat 2 got underway late in the afternoon. By virtue of the reverse grid by class, William Einkamerer started from pole position, with Lyle Ramsay alongside him, now in Class B. The field negotiated the ever-troublesome hairpin on lap 1 and sorted itself out in orderly but aggressive fashion. The morning’s winners would soon be flexing their muscles trying to overturn the grid inversion and so it proved. With Einkamerer untroubled at the front, Ramsay was soon under pressure from Jan Eversteyn, Alan Hilligenn and Jagger Robertson.

Behind them came the Gualtieri, Biagioni, Garbini and Meier! In Class C another new name in the ranks was making an impression. Mikaeel Pitamber, whose father Kishoor is no stranger to local racing circles, led the field with Trevor Long hot on his heels.  Pitamber had actually not driven the car until race 1 in the morning! Matthew Wadeley and Renier Smith were not far behind the pair. Nicholas Herbst and Eugene Gouws who broke out from Class E in heat 1, led the way in Class D, with heat 1 winner Riaan Lubbe an early casualty, caught up in a tangle between Shaun Dodd and Arri van Heerden at turn 4. As the lap counter steadily decreased the battle for the lead in each class grew more frenetic.

In Class B Garbini was soon hassling Jagger Robertson with Meier and Gualtieri also duelling mightily laying down markers for other battles to come. In Class C Pitamber was holding on impressively, keeping Wadeley behind him. In Class D Craig Herbst was having an awesome day, eventually passing Gouws, Ribeiro, Grobler and his son Nicholas to take the lead. Nicholas Fischer led Class E with Bernard de Gouveia holding him in his sights.

Class D: Craig Herbst (GreenHouse / Victron Energy E46 330i)


After another 10 exciting laps, Einkamerer won from Garbini and Meier. Pitamber held on and won Class C which augurs well for the season ahead. Craig Herbst was delighted with his day’s takings, claiming top spot in Class D. Nicholas Fischer claimed a double win in Class E.

The regulars who have given so much to the series in the recent past are all back and promising to deliver another memorable season, which hopefully spectators can enjoy again.

Race 2 Results per Class:

Class A:

1. William Einkamerer – 01:06.214


Class B:

1. Carlo Garbini – 01:07.451

2. Andreas Meier – 01:06.528

3. Jagger Robertson – 01:07.739

Class C:

1. Mikaeel Pitamber – 01:10.492

2. Matthew Wadeley – 01:10.410      

3. Trevor Long – 01:11.410

Class D:

1. Craig Herbst – 01:13.211

2. Shane Grobler – 01:12.789

3. Eugene Gouws – 01:13.838

Class E:

1. Nicholas Fischer – 01:18.198

2. Bernard de Gouveia – 01:19.167

Fastest Lap: William Einkamerer – 01:06.214 in Lap 5

Craig Herbst was bestowed the coveted Driver of the Day award for his second-place podium in the first heat and first race win in the second heat also crowning him his first overall win in class as well.

Class E: Nicholas Fischer (Inside Active Group E36 328i)


After just a few days, the action now moves to Kyalami this weekend where no less than 45 entries will come under starter’s orders over 4 heats, on Friday at 14:10 for Classes A & B and 14:50 for Classes C, D, & E and on Saturday at 08:25 for the latter and 09:40 for the former. Some more big names are set to join the field, notably Paulo and Rick Loureiro, Adrian Dalton and Zimbabwe’s Darren Winterboer, all in Class A. A host of other well-known racers will bolster the field across all 5 classes for what should be a grand affair, reminiscent of halcyon days when over 70 Group N cars in each race graced that famous landmark in Midrand.

Story by Tony Alves.

Report and Event Photographs:

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