This weekend not only sees the fastest racing cars in the country converging on Dezzi Raceway from around the country, but it will also see several intriguing championship battles playing out, several of which feature local KZN teams and drivers fighting it out against SA’s finest.
Endurance racing is a spectacular attraction and the local series has provided huge entertainment with a regular significant sting in the tail. The recent Campos Cape 400 for instance, saw both the leading and third-placed cars at the start of the final lap not making the finish — so there’s very good reason for local race fans to take a drive down the N2 for what promises to be a great Arnold Chatz Cars Race Day at the Dezzi Raceway.
The biggest question is whether Gauteng driver Franco and his Port Elizabeth cousin, Silvio Scribante Chevron can make it three wins in a row to take their Franco Scribante Racing Chevron B26 Suzuki V8 into the championship lead. The Scribantes were lucky to steal that Killarney last lap victory from sons Keegan and Jason and dad Rui Campos’ Shelby-Ford V8, but those two should be the cars to beat on the tight, twisty and undulating Sheppy circuit.
The Scribantes will however have to keep a watchful eye on Fritz Kleynhans and James Forbes in the Comenius Ligier-Honda JS49 and the Mike Verrier/Wayne Jardine Fantastic Racing/AidCall247 Shelby Nissan. Jo’burg drivers Fritz and James sit just five points behind the Chevron cousins in fourth in the championship race, with Mike and Wayne sixth, another 5 points adrift.
There is significant home interest in the smaller prototype classes — Nottingham Road driver Mike Schmidt and ‘Maritzburg man Bruce Avern-Taplin are finding their way around their little Bateleur Motorsport NASH-Volkswagen MVW3, which could just spring a surprise on Dezzi’s demanding confines. The local duo must however first deal with Hennie Trollip and Clinton Thorne’s Full Output Lotus Seven, which sits a single point ahead of them in seventh in the championship race, as well as Eric Salomon and Dave Sinclair in the Team Lessons ELF S 06.
Tortoise and Hare GTs
There’s a tortoise and hare situation going down in the GT ranks of the Mopar SA Endurance Championship with consistent Cape trio Dave Alhadef, Martin Bensch and Chris Carolin leading the championship in their Panoz Esparante ahead of some far quicker kit including Phakisa 6-hour winners Charl and Harry Arangies’ Stradale Ferrari 430 and teammates and runners up in the Free State, Gavin Cronje and Simon Murray’s Stradale Lamborghini Gallardo.
Local eyes will be on KZN crews Tony Martin, Duncan Day and Piet Bredenhann and Mike McLoughlin and Mark Owens’ locally-built Backdraft Cobras that also shone so well in the Phakisa 6-hour, but don’t ignore another local lad Sun Moodley and Andrew Culbert in their Bigfoot Express Porsche 991 GT3 Cup, Greg Parton and Jaki Scheckter’s Lamborghini Huracan or Mike Altona/Steve Pickering Classic Motorsport Porsche 910.
An endurance race would not be an endurance race without tin-tops to add flavour and this lot is bound to star and surprise at Dezzi. Overall championship leader, Zimbabwean Darren Winterboer will be out to continue his great run aboard the Barons Motor Spares BMW 335i alongside Kris Budnik, but he will clearly have his work cut out. Bradley Scorer and Theo Van Vuuren’s Arnold Chatz Alfa Romeo Giulietta sits just 7 points behind Budnik with Cape Town father and son, Alex and Andre Johnson’s Executive Motorsport Audi A4 another 5 points adrift.
Pietermaritzburg driver Steve Truter and Wayne Lotter’s Sasolburg Autobody BMW M3 is also well up in the championship, but all the saloon cars will have to keep their eyes peeled for giant killers the likes of Dewald Brummer and Bevan Williams MAD Racing/Fuchs Lubricants Volkswagen Golf 1 GTI, Adrian Dalton Wayne and Lebotschy in a similar Shield/Extra Clothing & Shoes car and Jonathan and Stuart Konig Konig Racing VW Golf MK2 Volkswagen Golf 2 GTI – especially on a track that so well suits those little critters.