Round five of the SA Endurance Championship returns to Gqeberha for a six-hour race with a double score on the line, starting late afternoon and stretching late into the night to the beat of GoodLuck, DJ Zain SA and Jesse Clegg .
The Spring Motorsport Festival is another Southern African Endurance Series innovation, with non-stop action and activity over the weekend of September 30 and October 1, returning to Aldo Scribante as the Phakisa track is not at the standards for endurance racing.
Topping the championship points table is 18-year-old Kwanda Mokoena, who is joined by his uncle Tschops Sipuka, third in the points table. The duo will be driving their usual Into Africa/Amandla Coal Audi R8 GT4. The pair raced to victory in Rounds 3 and 4 in July and will be aiming for the 100 points on offer.
Hein Lategan is in second place in the newspaper just two points behind Mokoena. The Porsche 992 GT3 Cup driver will be joined by his usual co-driver Verissimo Tavares. Last time out, Lategan – accompanied by his son Henk – missed out on victory by the slimmest of margins and the pair will be looking to redeem themselves.
The two top seeds will have to fend off the Ligier-Honda JS53 Evo of Riaan Botma and Jeffrey Kruger. The Auto Investments team have been unlucky this year and sit in seventh place, but a solid and reliable race could see that change dramatically.
Back to the SA Endurance Championship, Aidcall247 with RicoBarlowRacing Ligier-Honda JS53 Evo of Nick Adcock and Dane Michael Jensen. The duo competes in the Le Mans European Championship and currently sits third in the LMP3 championship. Their only outing this year ended in second place, having led the race most of the time.
They will be joined by Mikael Pitamber on this occasion, with the teenager having a clash-free DTM Trophy weekend. Pitamber won the opening round and his progress in the Ligier will be watched with interest.
Another potential winning team is the Kalex Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Michael Stephen and Paul Hill. An infrequent competitor of late, the team is more than capable of a podium finish.
Not only is Colin Ellison leading the Class E title challenge in his Titan Historic F1 Racing Backdraft-Lexus, but he is fourth overall, just one point behind Sipuka. He recruited Andrew Horne to share driving the black-and-gold roadster for the six-hour race to keep his grip on the standings.
A regular season sees Benjamin and Crisjan Morgenrood (Ben Morgenrood Group Backdraft-Lexus) in fifth place overall and second in Class E. They will be joined by their famous dad, Ben once more and hope to repeat their best result of the year, a third place in the third round.
Qhubani’s Fikile Holomisa and Baphumze Rubuluza are having a competitive season so far with a solid fourth place overall, their best result to date. The Backdraft-Lexus pair finished all races in the points to place sixth overall.
Mike McLoughlin and Steve Clark will launch an all new Backdraft Slingshot. Weighing just 850kg, it pumps out 650bhp from a 7-litre Chevy engine and features a Mustang differential and six-speed sequential gearbox. How it will go ? Quick is the most likely answer!
Another Backdraft entry likely to shake things up in the E-Class is driven by six-time Mobil V8 champion Mackie Adlem and Rudi Barnard. It will be interesting to see how the two riders adapt from the sprint to the endurance race, but they will be fast.
The Pesty Racing team – named after a pet ostrich who lived on a game farm in Tolwe – sees the father and son pair of Harm and Barend Pretorius out to improve on their eighth place finish. They have a better finish of fourth overall and could repeat that result.
A pair of newcomers to the Backdraft class are Toyota Vice President Anand Pather and Mario De Sousa who will face a baptism of fire. De Sousa is a former production car driver and recently competed in the Yaris GR Cup at Aldo Scribante, while Pather competed in the Yaris Cup at Zwartkops earlier this year.
The D-Class is a Volkswagen battle; David and Roberto Franco and Danie van Niekerk have only competed once this year but took a sixth place overall in their Graphix Supply World Polo GTi at Aldo Scribante in May. They will face a refurbished Golf 7 compatible with GTC2 and compatible with Creative Ink, driven by Mohamed Dangor and Kishoor Pitamber. The pair had a torrid outing in east London and will look to remedy that this time around.
Track action will see five official practice sessions on Friday before qualifying at 4:00 p.m. The endurance plateau has a last chance to fine-tune its machines on Saturday during a 40-minute warm-up session at 10:50 a.m.
The Six Hour race will start at 4:00 p.m. and with the sun setting at 6:20 p.m., teams will have to contend with just under four hours of night racing.
In preparation for the race, DJ Zain SA will entertain fans from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. before Jesse Clegg takes the stage from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. DJ Zain SA is back for another hour starting at 8:00 p.m. before GoodLuck takes the musical show to the finish in a one-hour concert starting at 9:00 p.m.
Tickets are available at https://saeseries.com/shop from R50 for Friday action with various packages – from R100 – available for Saturday’s action-packed day of racing and music, food, drink and children’s show jumping.
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posted by MotorPress
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