KZN motorsport fraternity keep high octane fires burning despite spectator lockdown
Share this article:
Durban - Motorsport has a way of dishing out unwelcome surprises and Henk Lombard was on the receiving end at Dezzi Raceway, Oslo Beach at the weekend for the third round of the KZN Road Racing Club Championships.
He had entered his very rapid Class A Modified VW Scirocco in both the Modified and Sports Cars/Super GT categories, intending to have a full day of four races and things started out well enough with the opening race for the Modifieds with Lombard involved in a massively entertaining battle with the VW Golfs of Ronald van Rensburg and Dane Thompson.
With that as a ‘warm-up’ he went on to the Sports/Super GT category and promptly won the heat and set the fastest lap – this against three V8-powered Backdraft Roadsters.
To be fair, the Backdraft cars were there doing preparation for the 4-Hour Endurance event in East London next weekend. For Duncan do Reis, who finished second in the heat, it was his first outing in his car – christened Angie – while the father and son team of Zane and Gareth Pearce were simply getting seat time in their car.
The mighty turbo-charge ‘Red Rooster’ piloted by Trevor Graham finished third behind Gareth Pearce but Graham had said before the start he was using the time to check all the systems in the car and Mike McLoughlin would drive in the Time Attack category to test some new tyre combinations.
Irrespective of that, it was a great racing sight to watch Lombard muscle his way ahead of the Roadsters – but then, in the second heat of the Modifieds, the fickle finger of fate struck and his engine lost power dropping him slowly down the field.
Keegan Samson went on to win overall for the day ahead of Van Rensburg and Thompson, while Elton Fuchs won overall in the Super Modified category despite his VW Golf that usually spits out a sheet of flame from the exhaust on the overrun, wimpishly puffing out a bit of black smoke.
In Class B of the Modifieds, Nicole Lombard in her VW Scirocco won for the day from the Golf of Gary Commins with Greg Bennet (Opel) winning Class C from Charmain Petzer (VW Polo) and Willem Bleeker (VW Polo).
For Drew Gates, on the other hand, it was good day at the races with the youngster winning the 150 Super Production motorcycle category and finishing second to the flying Blaze Baker in the 300 Class motorcycles.
However, it was all straightforward and he won the first heat outright from Hayden Louw and Shaun Joffe, setting a fastest lap of 1min23,626 in the process. In the second race it was Shaun Joffe who claimed the advantage after a 10-lap tussle, finishing ahead of Louw with Gates in third place but with an even better fastest lap (1min22,975) to his credit – the combine points tally enough to give him honours for the day.
In the 150 Class Lee Singh won both races to be on the top step of the podium ahead of Tai Robinson and Felix Kroeber, while Gary Robinson claimed first place in the 150 Masters categry from Arthur Moller and Sven Christenson.
Pietermartizburg’s Retro Racing clan provided, as always, some spirited racing in their two heats (combined with the Sports Cars/Super GT) and Reg Sutton (Ford Escort) dominated proceedings by winning both heats – made slightly easier when the similar car of Meredith Willis ran into engine problems).
Sutton was the sole survivor of Class D but it was Ollie Broome (Mercedes-Benz) who won Class E from Darryl Mann (Porsche) and Alistair Webster (Flamingo). In Class F it was Stuart Armstrong (Ford Escort) from Paul Manegold (Alfa GTV), while Allan Hooper (Alfa Giulia) topped the table from Eri Quibell (Lotus Cortina) and Mark Kitching.
As usual the Super Motard motorcycles produced blistering pace and hectic action with the battle for the lead a constantly changing affair. In the opening race it was Aston Nesbitt who emerged at the front from Hayden Louw and Brett Sharp.
Heat two went to Taigh Janse van Rensburg with Nesbitt claiming second – enough to scoop overall honours for the day. Third place went to Justin Mathie with the overall placings then Nesbitt from Janse van Rensburg and Louw.
Perhaps, by next month’s meeting, some spectators will be allowed into the venue.
COLIN WINDELL reporting for IOL MOTORING