The motorsport activities during the weekend’s WesBank Motoring Festival at Kyalami added much spice to the event, with unexpected results and close competition in the mix.
For enthusiasts, the highlights were two races for Sasol Global Touring Cars.
Saturday morning’s official qualifying session left Michael Stephen (Engen Audi) on pole position, next to Daniel Rowe (VW Motorsport Jetta), with Gennaro Bonafede (Sasol BMW) and Simon Moss (Engen Audi) filling the second row.
Bonafede charged to the front of the field on the opening lap of race one and pulled away from the rest of the field.
Driving smoothly, cleanly and brilliantly, Bonafede led until halfway around the eighth and final lap.
Then, three corners from the finish line, the BMW’s engine cried enough, dumping its guts and fluids through the sump.
Bonafede pulled off immediately to watch in disbelief while Stephen, Rowe and Moss took the first three places.
Behind them came Michael van Rooyen (RSC BMW), Johan Fourie (EPS Couriers BMW), Robert Wolk (Sasol BMW) and Mathew Hodges (VW Motorsport Jetta).
Sunday’s race two started in spectacular manner. Coming out of the esses on lap one, Rowe lost his Jetta and it slammed into the barriers.
The impact ripped off the car’s left rear wheel, hub and brake assembly, which went sliding over the road, to be collected by Masters in his Golf.
He skidded into a sand trap and retirement, with the race being red-flagged. After the restart, Bonafede made no mistakes, slotting into a lead he was never to lose.
He was chased over the finish line by Fourie, Hodges, Stephen and Moss. Van Rooyen and Wolk both retired with electronic problems.
Starting from pole position, Keagan Masters (VW Motorsport Golf GTI) led Saturday’s opening GTC2 race from start to finish, He was shadowed closely by Adrian Wood (Kyocera Golf GTI) all the way.
Third over the line was Charl Smalberger (Lee Thompson Golf GTI), leading home Devin Robertson (Champion Mini JCW), Trevor Bland (Universal Health Golf GTI) and Paul Hill (Kalex Golf GTI).
After Masters’ retirement in Sunday’s race, Bradley Liebenberg (Ferodo Mini JCW) took the victory ahead of Wood, Smalberger, Bland, Robertson and Hill.
The Investchem Formula 1600 contingent started Friday’s qualifying session in dramatic fashion when the throttle of Jeff Gable’s Fantastic Mygale stuck open at the end of the pit straight.
The car ploughed through the run-off area and into the wall at high speed, destroying itself, with Gable lucky to escape with an arm injury.
Then, in the opening race, David Jermy lost his Fantastic Mygale in Clubhouse Corner and hit the wall hard.
That left Stuart White (Fantastic Mygale) to take a comfortable victory ahead of Scott Temple (Road to Race Mygale), Alex Gillespie (ERP Trucking Mygale), Tiago Rebelo (TRMS Mygale), Andrew Schofield (Investchem Mygale) and Gerald Wright (Fantastic Mygale).
White and Temple finished first and second in race two as well, followed by Rebelo, Nicholas van Weely (Fantastic Hardware Van Diemen), David Jermy in his repaired Fantastic Mygale and Gillespie.