Pretoria - Round nine of the 2017 Extreme Festival at the Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday delivered brilliant on-track action that could best be described as robust, especially from the headline Sasol Global Touring Car series, fast shaping up to be a worthy successor to the old SA Touring Cars.
Defending champion Michael Stephen (Audi) won the first GTC race from team-mate Simon Moss and Mathew Hodges in the factory VW Jetta, after Daniel Rowe in the second Jetta and Sasol BMW newbie Robert Wolk collided early in the race, causing damage that later sidelined both cars. BMW privateer Johan Fourie, Gennaro Bonafede in the second works BMW and Michael van Rooyen in another privately entered BMW rounded out the top six.
Keagan Masters (Golf GTI) was the first GTC2 driver home race, ahead of Bradley Liebenberg (Mini JCW), Christopher Shorter (Mini JCW), Trevor Bland (Golf GTI), Charl Smalberger (Golf GTI) and Iain Stevenson (Golf GTI).
Stephen came through from the traditional inverted grid to win a somewhat destructive Race Two, which saw Moss, Wolk, Van Rooyen and Hodges falling by the wayside, while Bonafede’s BMW ran out of steam and stopped on the final lap. Fourie and Rowe topped the survivors list, finishing second and third behind Stephen.
Masters took a second GTC2 win, chased all the way by Smalberger, Mandla Mdakane (Golf GTI), Shorter, Bland and and Honda Civic privateer Dayne Angel, after Liebenberg went out.
Devin Robertson won all three of the one-make VW Polo races, extending his already formidable championship lead. He was followed home in race one by Clinton Bezuidenhout and Juan Gerber; Bezuidenhout took second in race two as well, followed by Jeffrey Kruger; finally, Gerber and Kruger filled out the race three podium behind the unstoppable Robertson.
Julian van der Watt, in a Mygale, was chased to the finish in Race One by Stuart White (Fantastic Ford) and Liam Pienaar in another Mygale. Then White came back in style to clinch the second race, from Van der Watt and youngster Cameron O’Connor, in a Strata F1600.