The third round of the 2017 Inland Championship will visit the popular Zwartkops Raceway outside Pretoria for what is promised to be another action packed affair on 8 April 2017. With the various race category championships taking shape one can expect those trailing in points will do their best to narrow the gap on a more familiar circuit.
Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series
The Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series is expected to produce yet again a large field of entrants on the day. The previous round at Red Star Raceway saw a proper shake-up in class A with Lorenzo Gualtieri (BMW E36 328i Turbo) entering for the first time this season and grabbing a chunk of points from class leader Julian Fameliaris (BMW E36 328i Turbo). Not too far off on points is his cousin Dino Fameliaris (BMW E36 M3 Turbo) that seems to have all the gremlins from the previous seasons sorted on his vehicle. Just a single point behind him is Mish-al Sing (BMW E30 325is). 2015 Champion Darren Winterboer (BMW F30 335i) also makes a welcome return to Class A, and will be chasing down Gianni Giannoccaro (BMW E82 1M GT) at the front of the field.
The class B battle is expected to be just as furious between the three leaders Rick Loureiro (BMW E30 3.2 CSL), Riaan Woest (BMW E46 M3 GTR) and Paulo Loureiro (BMW E36 M3 GTS) also making his first appearance this season at the Red Star round and coming away with a double win there. Also not far behind on points is season newcomer JB Breedt (BMW E36 328i Turbo) expecting to take the challenge to the leaders.
The class C campaigners, better known as the “Brat Pack” will ensure great wheel to wheel action with their evenly matched BMW M3’s. Currently leading class C is Willie Erasmus (BMW E36 M3) by a small margin to another season newcomer Len-Henry Gobey (BMW E36 M3). Third placed man Philip Smit (BMW E46 M3) can be expected to fight hard for the top step of the podium. But if he thinks it will be easy he is mistaken, as there will be half a dozen other contenders also with the ability to take podium places on the day.
Class D is expected to see just as much action. Currently in the lead is Overall Championship leader Shane Grobler (BMW E36 328i) with Jan Eversteyn (BMW E36 328i) blowing down his neck only two points behind. Not too far behind his son, in third, is Mike Grobler (BMW E36 328i) that will want to prove he can beat them like he did in the first race of the season at Midvaal. Irrespective there are still a handful other very capable contenders that can cause an upset for the leaders on the day.
Word from the Midvaal Historic Car Club is that they are really looking forward to the Zwartkops race. Many hours have gone into getting their cars prepped and race ready. It can also be expected from them to produce a big grid on the day due to their fast growing ranks.
Battle lines are drawn between the top class contenders and we are set for a proper Datsun versus Volkswagen challenge from the likes of Andre de Lange (VW Jetta MK 1), Seef Fourie Jnr (Datsun 160Y), Shawn Smidt (Datsun SSS), Andy Gossman (VW Scirocco) and Jannie van Rooyen (VW Scirocco) out front in class D.
Class E saw a few new additions in class after some contenders broke out of class F at the previous round. Heading up the class E battle will be current overall championship and class leader Ken Price (Datsun GX Coupe), Brendon Parker (Datsun GX Coupe) and Deon van Vuuren (Ford Escort Mk1). Also in with a shot at the lead is Francois Jacobs (Datsun GX 1200) and Wentzel Nortman with his newly prepared Toyota Celica.
Close quarter racing can be expected in class F between the likes of class leader Frank Davis (Ford Escort MK1), father and son duo Johan Coetzer Snr (Datsun GX) and Johan Coetzer Jnr (Datsun GX) and the Jensen family trio with their high wheel cocking Datsun GX’s. Defending 2016 champion Jacques Mostert (Datsun GX Coupe) will also be making a welcome return at this round.
Action aplenty can also be expected in class G with contenders such as class leader Johan Swanepoel (Fiat Coupe), Ricardo da Costa (Ford Escort), Gavin Lundin (Datsun GX 1200), Sean Fandam (Fiat 124 Coupe) and the competitive Vos family in their Datsun GX’s.
The class H contenders are expected to see entrants from Johan Venter (VW Jetta), Brian Fraser and Chris Williams in the number 777 Ford Anglia. Also expected on the day will be Eugene Gouws in his Firenza Can-AM taking the lead in an unchallenged class A. With a track that favours the smaller and more nimble class D cars he should have his hands full trying to get away from them out front.
Single seater fans will also get to enjoy the antics of the Formula Monoposto brigade. Current Formula M championship leader Duncan Bosch (McPherson) will be under pressure from second placed man Hylton Morrow (Formula M). Formula Libre will see contenders such as John Maurien (VW Ray) and Sean Harrington (Ray Formula GTi) do battle at the sharp end of the field. Johan Botha (Mygale SJ99) will make a welcome return to the grid after missing out the previous round. He will have a tough battle on his hands with the likes of Jannie Geyser (Rhema 2), Carel van Heerden (Swift Formula GTi) Mark Lagden (DAW GTI) and Sean Harrington (Ray Formula GTI). Current Champion Michael Kernick will be swapping seats from his regular Tasman Vee into a Classic Witter Historic Vee and should be battling Blane DeMeillon and Tony Beecher.
The day will also see some truly classic single seater machines racing in the Historic Single Seaters races, with Chris Clarke (Titan Formula Ford), Patrick Dunseith (Merlyn Formula Ford), Stuart Thompson (Dulon FF), Graham Vos (Dulon FF), Keegan Ward(Royale RP21FF) and Stuart Grant (Lotu sFF) should all have a wheel to wheel battle at the sharp end closely followed by the Winterstein pairing – Shannon (Palliser FF) and Clive (Elva). The Air-cooled Formula Vee battle will include Blane De Meillon (S&J Mk8), Tony Beecher (S&J mk5), Duncan Gibb and son Warren (1984 Eagle LSR01 Vee), Alan Kernick (1965 Capital Vee) and his son Michael Kernick (1972 Witter Vee). Lady racer Glenda Derbyshire (Bolzup Vee) will also add to the historic Vee field.
The Silver Cup category should show a strong contingent of entrants considering the popularity of the track. Leading the challenge should be Jaques Meiring (Mitsubishi Lancer). Evert Seyffert (Chevrolet Ferenza) and Wiekie Luwes (Mazda 323) is expected to lead the class A challenge with Daniel Luwes (Honda Ballade) and Kevin Paynter (Honda Ballade) doing battle in class B. Heading up the class C challenge will be Nico Grobler (VW Golf) and Keanu Venter (VW Golf).
Other race categories on the day will be the Big Boss Auto Super Saloons, Yokohama Modified Production Cars and INEX Legends Championship.
Tickets will cost R90 per adult and R70 per student while kids under 12 will go in free. Racing is expected to start at 10:15 although there are qualifying laps from 08:00 in the morning that will keep you just as entertained.
For more information please visit the Zwartkops Raceway website: www.zwartkops.co.za or contact the office on: 012 384 2299.