Spectacle, close competition and huge crashes typified the opening round of this year’s Extreme Festival Tour in front of a large crowd at Kyalami on Saturday. Officially, the event was headed up by two races for Sasol Global Touring Cars.
The first race saw Gennaro Bonafede (Sasol BMW) leading from start to finish, chased home by Michael Stephen (Engen Xtreme Audi), Johan Fourie (EPS Couriers BMW), Simon Moss (Engen Xtreme Audi), and Mathew Hodges (VW Motorsport Jetta). Robert Wolk retired in spectacular manner on lap six, when his Sasol BMW’s suspension broke halfway down the mineshaft, and the car plowed into the tyre wall at high speed.
Wolk was unharmed, but the BMW was extensively damaged. Race two was red-flagged after two laps, when Adrian Woods lost his VW Motorsport Golf GTI at high speed in the mineshaft and slammed it into the inside tyre wall.
Meanwhile, the VW Jetta of Daniel Rowe was forced wide, turned sideways and hit the BMW of Fourie, with the Volkswagen retiring.
After the restart the Hodges VW stopped with engine maladies. Then Fourie’s car lost its brakes at the end of the pit straight, spun and was violently collected by Stephen’s Audi. The race was red-flagged again.
After the second restart the BMWs of Bonafede and Van Rooyen both stopped with technical issues, which left Simon Moss to finish first. Keagan Masters (VW Motorsport Golf GTI) won the first GTC2 race from Bradley Liebenberg (Ferodo Mini JCW) and Trevor Bland (Universal Healthcare Golf GTI).
Liebenberg won the next time, ahead of Bland and Charl Smalberger (Lee Thompson Golf GTI).
The new Bentley Continental GT3 of Toby Venter did not make its promised appearance in the races for G&H Transport Extreme Supercars. Charl Arangies (Stradale Aston Martin Vantage) then took the first race victory with ease.
Behind him Adrian Dalton (Xtra Clothing BMW M3) beat off Jonathan du Toit (TAR Ferrari F430), Sav Gualiteiri (Savspeed BMW F30) and Darren Winterboer (Barons BMW M3). Arangies won race two as well, followed by Gualiteiri, Dalton, Du Toit and Greg Parton (Drizit Lamboghini). Jeffrey Kruger (Universal Health Polo) took the opening Engen Polo Cup race from Jonathan Mogotsi (VW Motorsport Polo), Juan Gerber (VW Polo), Tasmin Pepper (Electric Life Polo), and Keegan Campos (Campos Transport Polo).
Race two saw Gerber and Mogotsi fighting for the lead until they tangled, with both cars going farming in the process. That left Kruger to win again, leading home Pepper, Campos, Shaun La Reservee (Alpine Motors Polo) and a recovered Mogotsi.
The first Investchem Formula 1600 race went to Stuart White (Fantastic Mygale), leading home Cameron O’Connor (Repro Supplies Mygale) and Alex Gillespie (ERP Trucking Mygale).
White won the next time as well, followed by Gillespie and O’Connor. Defending South African champion Graeme van Breda (Stefanutti ZX10R) won both the Red Square Kawasaki Masters races, narrowly ahead of Sven Grune (Kawasaki ZX10R). Jaco Gous (Kawasaki ZX10R) and Pieter de Vos (Kawasaki ZX10R shared the respective third places. Veteran Lance Isaacs (Supabets BMW S1000RR) took easy victories in both the Bridgestone Thunderbike races. The first time he was followed by André Calvert (Omega Ducati) and Gareth Laverick (Yamaha R1).
Laverick finished second the next time, ahead of Damion Purifucati (Amulgum BMW S1000RR).
Mackie Adlem (Adlem Auto Jaguar) took the first SAMCAR V8 Supercar race from Benjamin Morgenrood (Ford Mustang) and Terry Wilford (Fuchs Ford Falcon).
Morgenrood won the next time, leading home Adlem and Larry Wilford (MLT 926 Jaguar). The next round of the 2018 Extreme Festival series will be at the Western Cape Killarney circuit on Saturday, April 21.