Regional Extreme Festival ends 2023 dramatically at Zwartkops
A number of accidents characterised the season's final meeting, including a damaged barrier that still only took 67 minutes to be fully repaired.
Louis Scholtz (Car Care Clinic Volkswagen Golf GTI) clinched the GT title of the season’s Car Care Clinic 111/GT Sports and Saloon Car championship. Picture: Dave Ledbitter.
The Regional Extreme Festival series was concluded 2023 in a spectacular manner at the Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria on Saturday, with a large crowd thoroughly entertained by various championship-clinching races.
Top billing belonged to the G&H Transport Extreme Supercar brigade.
The opening race went to Franco Scribante (Scribante Porsche 911 RSR), marginally ahead of Stuart White (Scribante Lamborghini Huracan), Silvio Scribante (Cemza Lamborghini Huracan), Jonathan du Toit (TAR Lamborghini Huracan) and Xolile Letlaka (Into Africa Aston Martin Vantage).
Along the way, Stuart White set the day’s quickest lap time on 59.082 seconds.
Franco Scribante needed a fourth place in race two to clinch the 2023 championship, and that was exactly where he finished. Ahead of him, White led Silvio Scribante and du Toit over the finish line.
The opening Mobil 1 V8 Supercar heat went to Julian Familiaris (Lube-Net Chevrolet Corvette), followed by Mackie Adlem (Adlem Auto Jaguar XK8), Franco di Matteo (Deltec Batteries Jaguar XK8) and Terry Wilford (Fuchs Ford Mustang).
Adlem then won race two, his final appearance in the V8 Supercar category, finishing ahead of di Matteo, Warren Lombard (Bumper to Bumper Ford Falcon) and Marius van den Berg (Mobil 1 Chevrolet Lumina).
Though he retired from the race, Familiaris had enough points in hand to take the 2023 overall title.
Overshadowing the Supercars heats was a massive shunt in the opening BMW M Performance Parts race, when the SavSpeed BMW 328i of Hein van der Merwe dumped oil in the ultra-fast turn 4 sweep as the front pack lined up to lap him.
Alan Hilligan (328i Turbo), Andreas Meier ((#trainedamateurs BMW 318i STC) and Leon Loubser (Bid Wheels 325i) all spun on the oil.
Then the Delmon Mining entry of Bob Neill hit the slippery stuff, turned sideways and plowed into the inside barrier at over 200 km/h. The car was destroyed, with Neill shaken, but not badly injured.
More seriously, the impact knocked down more than 50 metres of steel railing, costing the organisers more than an hour to rebuild the safety feature.
The ever efficient marshals managed the repair job with stacked tyres and water filled plastic containers in exactly 67 minutes, a task which magnitude was difficult to comprehend.
The restarted race went to Nek Makris (335i) ahead of Renier Smith (M3 Turbo), Josh le Roux (Vitro Frameless 340i) and Rob Gearing (335i).
Leon Loubser won race two ahead of Smith, Makris and Jaco Storm (Truewood 320i Turbo).
Bevin Masters (CPS Warehouse Polo) won the first PABAR VW Challenge race from Wayne Masters (Performance Masters Polo), Rory Atkinson (BHIT Polo) and Waldie Meintjies (Polo).
Wayne Masters won race two from Bevin Masters, Atkinson and Charl Smalberger (Sabertek Polo). Meanwhile, two podium places in Class C clinched the year’s overall title for Yotti Nousias (We Fix Cars Polo).
The first Car Care Clinic 111/GT Sports and Saloon Car race went to Jean-Pierre van der Walt (Platinum Wheels Volkswagen Polo), chased to the flag by Louis Scholtz (Car Care Clinic Volkswagen Golf GTI), Phillip Meyer (Pple Group Porsche 924) and Gerhard Henning (Volkswagen Golf GTI).
Van der Walt won race two as well, ahead of Scholtz, George Economides (Wealth Avenue Volkswagen CitiGolf Turbo) and Henning.
Scholtz took the year’s overall GT title, and Wouter Roos (Car Care Clinic Volkswagen Golf GTI) clinched the overall Saloon Car accolade.
Lendl Jansen (Bull Security Rhema) won the first DOE Formula Vee race from MD Bester (Mangaza Rhema), Jaco Schriks (DOE Rhema) and Peter Hills (Mangaza Rhema).
Jansen won race two as well, this time leading home Hills, Schriks and Gert van den Berg (DOE Parts Rhema). His second podium place for the the day clinched the season’s title for Schriks.
Both the SunBet Kawasaki ZX10 Masters Cup races went to Trevor Westman (Wayward Powers), leading home Damion Purificati (Amalgun), Jayson Lamb (Tyremart) and Greame van Breda (Stefanutti Stocks).
The second fourth place was enough to clinch the year’s overall title for van Breda.