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What    Regional Extreme Festival Round 1 Report

Where    Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria

When    Saturday 18 February 2023

Community    Gauteng Regional


Young racers came to the fore as Zwartkops Raceway dodged the rain to deliver a fine day of Regional Festival racing to an appreciative crowd in Pretoria on Saturday. The Pabar VW Challenge, Car Care Clinic Superhatch and 111s, DOE Formula Vee and Monoposto, Toyota Gazoo Cup and Silvercup championships all delivered great opening round action as each class opened their 2023 championship seasons.

The Pabar VW Challenge once again enjoyed a packed entry list, enough to see the classes split into two separate races, with A and C racing together, and Class B on its own. Wayne Masters did the Class A double, both times ahead of rivals Rory Atkinson and brother Bevin Masters, Waldie Meintjes and Derick Smalberger. Dean Ross and Chris Dale shared out the fifths and sixths.

Behind them, Yotti Nousias beat Stelio Nousias, karting graduate Bjorn Bertholdt, Philip Croeser, Michael Zapheriou and Charl Andersen to an equally entertaining opening Class C win. That before young Bertholdt took a debut second race win in his first ever weekend of main circuit racing from Stelio Nousias, Croeser, Yotti Nousias and Michael Zapheriou.

Amongst an impressive 20-car grid, Stiaan Kriel took both Class B race wins from Stuart Mack. Elna Croeser was third in the opening race from Jacques Hayes, Ian Walker, and Ethan Coetzee. It was Kriel from Mack again in race 2, while Class C graduate Walker beat Croeser, old Class C rival Pierluigi Muzzulini and Coetzee on his race return, in race 2 of Class B.

Karting graduate Sa’aad Variawa was another young driver to take a debut win on his maiden main circuit outing in the first Toyota Gazoo Yaris race. He beat Polo Cup regular Karah Hill, Nikki Vostanis, Christopher Pretorius, and Ryan Naicker. Thomas Falkiner was first  Media GR86 home from Setshaba Mashigo and Brendon Staniforth. Variawa went on to do the double, with fellow young karting graduate Vostanis in second this time around from Hill Pretorius, Naicker and Falkiner. Mashigo and Mark Jones completed the GR86 podium.

Karel Stolts took his Toyota Etios to opening Car Care Clinic Superhatch honours from Francis Aldrich’s Opel Corsa,  and Mark du Toit, Dhiren Ganassen and Seten Naidoo’s Honda Civics. Quintus Viljoen was sixth in a Polo, as Christiaan van Wyk took Class B in his Polo. Stolts went on to do the double from Mark du Toit and Aldrich and Viljoen, with Class B pair van Wyk and Jonathan du Toit’s Honda next up in race 2.

GT men Bob Neill’s Focus ST beat  JP van der Walt’s Audi S4, Lenard Archer’s Civic and Louis Cloete’s Beetle to the first Car Care Clinic 111 win. Class A winner Lucas Bezuidenhout was next in a Lexus, from Wouter Roos’ Golf. Chris Smit’s Porsche took Class C, Michael Grobler and Ronald Hopkins’ Polos X and B, and Rob Clark’s Youngtimer Ballade D. Van der Walt won race 2 from George Economides’ Golf, Neill, A winner Francois Henning’s Polo, Mydi Mfana and B winner Hopkins. Mel Spurr’s Polo won Class X, Clark D and Yorick Smith’s MX5 D.

Lendl Jansen was leading the opening DOE CIM Formula Vee race from Jaco Schriks and MD Bester when the red flag interrupted play. Bester took the restart win from Eric Booyens, Brandon and Peter Hills, Shaun van der Linde and Kyle Watt. Brandon Hill emerged second on combined time, from Booyens, Peter Hills, Jaco Schriks and van der Linde. Race 2 was straightforward. Schriks beat Peter Hills, Watt, Bester, van der Linde and Roy Douglas.

Staying with single seater action, Renzo Ribeiro led a Swift Formula GTi 1-2 over Paul Schultz in the well supported opening Monoposto race. Clint Baudoux was third from Allen Meyer’s Formula Ford Kent Swift, and Formula M duo, JM Gerber, and Hylton Morrow. Ribeiro did the double over Schultz on race 2, with Formula M man Didier Diedericks next from rivals Gerber and Morrow, Baudoux, and Lushen Ramchander’s SuperVee.

Stiaan Kriel won both Silvercup races his Jetta. He beat Shaun Lamprecht’s BMW, Paul van Niekerk’s Golf, Johan van der Vyver’s Subaru, Class B+ winner Chris Cronje’s Toyota and B winner Freek Blignaut Jr. in race 1. Kenny Darroch took Class C, Michael Grobler X and  Andre de Lange D. Kriel beat Karel Stolts’ Etios, Giulio Airaga‘s Tigra, Lamprecht and van der Vyver in heat 2. Wayne Pereira’s Golf took Class B, Darroch C, Cronje B+, Grobler X and Chantelle Bakkes’ Golf Class D.

The Northern Regions Extreme Festival now takes a pause until after the Easter weekend at the Red Star Raceway near Delmas on Saturday 22 April. Most of the National Extreme Festival classes meanwhile start their 2023 campaigns as curtain raisers to the Kyalami 9 Hour this 24-25 February Weekend, before the first full National Extreme Festival at Killarney in the Cape on Saturday 18 March.

Issued on behalf of Zwartkops Raceway

Photography by:  Colin Windell

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