Tragedy overshadowed the first round of this year’s EV Dynamics Inland Championship series at the Red Star Raceway near Delmas on Saturday.
The opening race for the event’s top-billed Mobil 1 V8 Supercar category saw a freak lethal accident.
After four laps a sudden thunderstorm inexplicably flooded half the circuit, with a number of cars sliding helplessly off the track at high speed when they reached the wet section.
In the process the Jaguar V8 of Antonie Marx hit television camera operator Nicholas Louw, who died from his injuries soon afterwards.
As a mark of respect, the V8 Supercar drivers retired from the race meeting. 40 years behind camera Louw was well known in the South African motorsport community.
Aged 67, he had been a television camera operator for the past 40 years and was involved in a large number of circuit-racing productions.
His untimely death sent shock waves through the Red Star paddock and put a huge dampener on what was, otherwise, an excellent day of motor racing.
Nicholas is survived by a sister, who lives in Australia.
- The first MotorMart VW challenge races went to reigning champion Rory Atkinson in his BHIT Polo, chased to the flag by Lyle Ramsay (Monroe Polo), Waldie Meintjies (Allwagen Polo), Jean-Pierre van der Watt (Platinum Wheels Polo) and Mohamed Dangor (Motor Mart Polo). Ramsay’s car blew its engine on the race two start line. That left Atkinson to win again, leading home Meintjies, Bevin Masters (CPS Warehouse Polo), Van der Watt and Dabgor (Motor Mart Polo).
- Adrian Dalton (Xtra Shoes Golf Turbo) won the first race for Motul modified production cars, followed across the line by Louis Cloete (AMS Tuning VW Beetle), Dewald Brummer (MAD VW Polo), Roan Ehlers (FEC Golf) and Giles Darroch (NEPIC Golf). Race two, held on a streaming wet track, saw Brummer driving brilliantly to outpace the rest of the field and win, 40 seconds ahead of his nearest adversary. The battle for second, during which the positions changed eight times, saw Cloete leading into the final corner. Then the Beetle ran out of gears in the last 100 metres and Dalton passed him to take runner-up spot ahead of a coasting Cloete, Darroch and Marius Jacobs (AAA Recovery Tigra).
- Deon van Vuuren (Supaquick Mazda R100 Rotary) won the first race for Midvaal historic cars, followed by Travis Jensen (SV Tech Datsun), Franz Jensen (Hensen Towing Datsun), Ian Kilburn (SV Tech Datsun) and Gavin Lundin (Datsun). Van Vuuren repeated the win in race two, this time leading home Lundin, Kilburn, Eugene Gouws (Fiat 124) and Andries Draper (Auto Classic Escort Mk 1).
- Defending titleholder Jeffrey Kruger (Universal Health Birkin) won both the Lotus challenge races, ahead of Thomas Falkiner (Adaptive Resource Birkin), Brad Benningfield (General Energy Birkin), Rudi Barnard (Adlem Auto Bitkin) and Johan Nel (Nelize Nel Birkin).
- The first sports car championship race went to Anton Muller (ATS Birkin) from Ian Smith (Shelby Can-Am), Klippies Krige (Lotus 7), Adriaan le Roux (Caterham 7) and Gerald Wright (Sports 2000). Muller, Smith and Krige crossed the line in that order in race two, this time followed by Riaan Bothma (Auto Investments Shelby) and Wright. Next round on March 23.
- The opening race for Liqui Moly Inex Legends went to Jagger Roberson (Inex Legend), leading home Charl Roux (Rubro Legend) and Jason Loosemoore (Inex Legend). Next time Justin Robertson won, chased by Willie Erasmus (MaD Legend) and Gerhard Roux (Rubro Building Legend). Race three went to Loosemoore, from Erasmus and Sean Moore (Ziegler Legend). The next round of the EV Dynamics Inland Championship series will be held at the Midvaal circuit on Saturday, March 23.