Gennaro Bonafede was an unexpected winner in the first GTC race. Picture: Dave Ledbitter
Midrand – With the circuit owner a leading contender in one of the headline classes, you can bet that everybody at Kyalami pulled out all the stops to make the second round of the 2017 Extreme Festival national series on Saturday a slick and well-organised day's racing.

And the fans were the real winners, with ultra-tight racing and a few surprise results along the way.

One of these came in the first outing for the headline Sasol Global Touring Car brigade, when early leader Michael Stephen’s Audi suddenly slowed with a mechanical gremlin halfway through the race.

Gennaro Bonafede (BMW) went on to take the win from Simon Moss (Audi) Johan Fourie (BMW) and Mathew Hodges (VW Jetta). The GTC2 class for front-wheel drive cars was a VW Golf GTI benefit, with Keagen Masters leading home Mandla Mdakane and Trevor Bland.

Race two started, as always, from a reverse-order grid, which is guaranteed to produce lurid action – but nobody was expecting Johan Fourie to plant his BMW in the wall halfway down the Mineshaft with just a few laps to go, or Daniel Rowe’s VW Jetta to stop with electronic problems. Then Robert Wolk's BMW blew its engine, spilling oil on the circuit and causing both itself and Simon Moss’s Audi to spin wildly into the gravel.

But ahead of them were Stephen in the now sorted-out Audi and Hodges, who kept each other honest down to the line to finish in that order, with a recovered Moss third ahead of Bonafede and Michael van Rooyen.

Mdakane took the GTC2 honours from Charl Smalberger and Masters in another all GTI podium.

Big guns

Then it was time for the big guns, the Extreme Supercars, as circuit owner Toby Venter blasted his works Porsche 911 GTR into the lead after just half a lap of Race 1, and held it to the end. He was followed home by similarly mounted Johan Engelbrecht, Charl Arangies and Franco Scribante in a pair of Ferrari 430s, and Dawie Olivier’s BMW M3.

Venter took line honours in Race 2 as well, followed home by Engelbrecht, Scribante, Arangies and Marcel Angel in a Ferrari 458.

Toby Venter blasted his works Porsche 911 GTR into the lead to win both Extreme Supercar races. Picture: Dave Ledbitter.

V8 Supercars

The drama started before the lights even went out for Race 1 as top qualifier Ben Morgenrood (Ford Mustang) dropped out on the warm-up lap, leaving pole position open.

Jaguar driver Mackie Adlem was quick to take advantage, powering through to win Race 1 from petite 17-year-old hot-rod racer Lonika Maartens (Chev Lumina), and Franco di Matteo, in another Jaguar.

In a race within a race for the one-make V8 Masters, visiting from their base at the Cape’s Killarney circuit, Fabio Tafani took the honours, ahead of Carl Nel and Charles Arton.

Adlem took another hard-fought win in Race 2, followed home this time by teenager Benjamin Morgenrood (son of Ben) in a Ford Mustang and Terry Fuchs in a Jaguar, while Tafani, Nel and Arton reprised their earlier result for the Masters.

Polo Cup

With championship leader Shaun La Reservee and top contender Tasmin Pepper both away at a wedding (he was the groom, she was maid of honour) the Polo Cup races were wide open – until veteran former Polo Cup star Lee Thompson made a one-off return to the series in La Reservee’s car and showed the current crop of youngsters which way was up.

He qualified on pole, nearly a second clear of the field, and romped away to win win Race 1 from Devin Robertson – but the real fight was for third, where 16-year-old Clinton Bezuidenhout got the better (by less than a second!) of a race-long dice with Juan Gerber and Dewald Brummer, who was standing in for Ms Pepper.

Lucky draw

In Polo Cup racing the top[ six qualifiers get their grid positions for Race 2 in a ‘lucky draw’. Brummer drew pole, while team-mate-for-the-day Thompson drew position four – but that didn’t change anything as the maestro carved through the top order to win going away.

Behind him, however, there was was a classic dice for second, with six to eight cars all trying to drive in the same four-car space, using all the track and then some.

But when the dust settled, it was Brummer leading the train, followed home by Gerber, Robertson and Bezuidenhout.

Formula 1600

Julian van der Watt took both single seater races, with Stuart White second each time; Alex Gillespie rounded out the podium in Race 1, with youngster Cameron O'Conner third in Race 2.

National Sports Cars

Jason Campos took an easy win in the inaugural race for this new category in a Shelby V8, with Brian Algar and Michael Jensen, each in a Shelby CanAm, second and third respectively.

Campos, the Shelby now well dialled in, was unapproachable in the second outing, setting a new overall lap record for the lengthened Kyalami circuit of 1m45.309s, while Algar and Jensen battled it out for second and third, finishing in that order.

IOL Motoring

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