By: Colin Windell
PORT SHEPSTONE - The level-up lockdown that went with the third wave of Covid gave KwaZulu-Natal competitors time to tinker with their race machines and the turnout at Dezzi Raceway, Oslo Beach at the weekend saw the return of a number of competitors, along with a large contingent of Lotus 7 racers from Gauteng.
In the cross-border contest, however, KZN racers came up trumps with Chris Wooley in the neat – and very quick – Benneton-coloured car taking the fight to the front in the opening heat where he led from the front but was under constant pressure from Byron Oliver.
The gap between the two was a mere 0,5 seconds at the finish. Mark Futcher in the JPS Lotus finished third, making it a clean sweep for KZN. Miles Downard flew the flag for Gauteng, finishing fifth behind Rob Mordaunt and ahead of Juan du Toit.
The frenetic pace continued in the second heat and this time it was Byron Oliver who took the chequer first followed by Mark Futcher, Rob Mordaunt, Chris Wooley and Downard again being the best of the Gauteng racers, this time leading home Benjamin Knights and Huan du Toit.
On two wheels, Blaze Baker dominated the 300 Class on the Optimech Kawasaki, winning both heats from Graigen Nel and Drew Gates.
“The track is quite greasy today,” said Baker, “and my front wheel is sliding on most corners.”
This was borne out by a first lap crash in the opening heat when Duncan Day went down and took Llewelyn Puren with him, bringing out the red flag and necessitating a race restart. Neither rider was injured but it is the second time the same pair have been involved in an accident at the circuit.
Peter St John Ward won the 300 Masters category while Arthur Moller won the opening heat of the Powersports Class from Sandile Mthembu and Sven Christensen – both the latter two dropping out of the second heat that was won by Llewelyn Puren from Moller and Tai Robinson.
In the combine heats for Super Modified and Modified cars, Keegan Sampson (VW Golf) trailed Henk Lombard’s VW Scirocco for one lap before scooting past in the lead he was to hold to the end, while Lombard ran into issues that saw him drop well back in the field.
Elton Fuchs (VW Golf) finished second overall in both heats behind Sampson but that was enough to ensure he won the Super Modified class. Pierre Potgieter (VW Golf) rand third overall in both encounters to be second on the day in the Modifieds ahead of Ronald van Rensburg (VW Golf). Firth in heat 1 was Dane Thompson (VW Golf) but he lost this spot to Nicole Lombard (VW Scirocco) in the second heat.
The Super Motard class was as hectic and hard-fought as it always is with Hayden Louw having an awesome day to win both heats quite comprehensively from Justin Mathie and Adrian Jansens Ter Laeck with Brett Sharp in fourth place ahead of Nick Louw in the first heat and Craig Dunnington in the second.
A good field of Retro cars made the trip from Pietermaritzburg for the day with Greg Steen (Ford Escort) in dominant form to win both heats from Ollie Broome in the Ford Mustang. And Alistair Webster (Ford Escort).
This class saw the welcome return of the Rory Nossiter Mini and Reghard Roets making a return to the track seated in an Ollie Broome owned Ford Escort – finishing fourth overall in both heats.
Shaun Joffe and Hayden Louw shared the spoils with one win apiece in the 150 Super Production motorcycles, while Zane Davidson and Drew Gates also swopped third places in the two heats. Garry Robinson won the 150 Masters and Tai Robinson the 150 class with Riley Day and Brody Galvin each notching up a win in the Junior category.
Liaan Smit made the running in the Formula Extreme motorcycle category, winning both heats from Calvin da Silva in the first and Jonathan Low in the second.
Hopefully by the next race on October 16 spectators will be allowed.