Brilliant racing at Welkom's Phakisa 200 Festival

The twisty, bumpy, yet quick Phakisa Freeway delivered brilliant Northern Regions 200 Festival racing on Saturday. It wasn’t all plain sailing however, but close racing certainly proved the order of the Welkom day.

The weekend highlight was the Phakisa 200 endurance race for Car Care Clinic 111 GTs, Sports, and Saloon Cars, racing together with the Superhatch gang. 111 Class A Volkswagen Golf turbo, duo Wouter Roos and Graeme Nathan’s Mk 7 beat Wayne Lebotschy’s Class B Mark 1 by two minutes to take the win. 111 GT Class B winner Johan van der Vyver’s Subaru ended third from Roland Hopkins’ 111 B Polo.

Piet Potgieter’s Q Golf, second GT man Lenard Archer’s Honda Civic and returning husband and wife team, Henry and Elke van Vledder’s Golf Followed. George Aldrich was the first Superhatch home in his Peugeot, from Heinz Bose and MD Bester’s Golf. Archer had already beaten Roos and Potgieter to a close sprint race win earlier in the day, with van der Vyver in pursuit. Francis Aldrich’s Corsa took the Superhatch win from Dhiren Ganasen in a Honda.

It was even closer as Jaguar XKR duo Franco di Matteo and Mackie Adlem bounced back to defeat championship upstart Julian Fameliaris’ Corvette in the opening Mobil1 V8 Masters race. Terry Wilford’s Mustang held Thomas Reib’s Lumina off for third, ahead of Steve Herbst in a Corvette and Warren Lombard’s Falcon. Fameliaris however turned the tables in race 2 to take a comfortable win over di Matteo, Adlem, Lombard, Wilford and Reib.

Unexpected winners returned to form as the Pabar VW Challenge delivered a blistering pair of races highlighted by a hectic opening heat halted by a red flag. Rory Atkinson stayed out of trouble to take the day, after he and Waldie Meintjies swapped Class A wins with second in the opening heat Charl Smalberger. Charl kept Masters brothers, Wayne, and former championship leader Bevin at bay in the final. Hannes Scheepers and Ethan Coetzee shared the B wins while Yotti Nousias dominated Class C to move to the top of the title table.

Bob Neill’s M3 Turbo turned the BMW M Performance Parts Series form book on its head when he beat William Einkamerer’s 335i to race 1. Andreas Meier took Class B from Lorenzo and Salvi Gualtieri and it was all about Nick in Class C, as Nicholas van Zyl beat namesakes Fischer and Naidoo. Neil Reynolds took the D win and Arri van Heerden won Class E. Leon Loubser took race 2 in his 335i from Einkamerer and Neill. Lyle Ramsay took B ahead of Nek Makris and Renier Smit, Nicholas van Zyl won Class C, Reinhardt Miller D and van Heerden Class E.

Thomas Falkiner got the day off to a fresh and early start as he pedalled his Taylon to a comfortable opening Lotus Challenge win over Birkin trio, Rudi Barnard, Mackie Adlem and David Coetzee. Sean Hepburn took Locost class honours from Wes Maxwell, Miles Downard and Nick Hodgson. A closer race 2 delivered the same overall result, as Davide Favo emerged to take Locost honours from, Maxwell, Downard and André du Plessis.

East London racer Jayson Lamb put one over Jozi rival Graeme van Breda to win a thrilling opening SunBet ZX10 Masters two-wheeler race by just three-tenths of a second. Veteran duo Pieter de Vos and Brain Bontekoning were next home from Wayne Shelley, Hein McMahon, Appanna Ganapathy and David Enticott. Lamb went on to do an even closer double over van Breda, Bontekoning, Shelley, de Vos. McMahon, Enticott, David Veringa, Klint Munton and Ganapathy.

Talking of thrilling races, half a second separated the DOE Formula Vee top three as Peter Hills bounced back to win the opening race from Jaco Schriks and Lendl Jansen. Brandon Hills edged Eric Booyens for fourth with Theodore Vermaak, Shaun van der Linde and Kyle Watt close behind. It was even better in race 2 as half a second split Peter Hills, Schriks, Jansen and Brandon Hills, with Vermaak, Booyens, Watt and van der Linde in chase.

The Northern Regions Racing Festival returns to Zwartkops for its it’s midseason fourth round on the shortest Saturday of the year on 24 June. Sounds like an ideal cure for those in the midwinter blues. Diarise it now!