The National segment of this year’s Extreme Festival will visit the Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria on Saturday, May 12, with seven competition disciplines to entertain Gauteng enthusiasts.
Officially, the event’s top billing will belong to the Sasol Global Touring Car brigade, with the battle for podium places wide open. Reigning South African champion Michael Stephen (Engen Audi A3) will be the man to beat, but judging by recent events, he will be strongly challenged. People to do so will include Simon Moss (Engen Audi A3), Gennaro Bonafede (Sasol BMW), Daniel Rowe (VW Motorsport Jetta), Robert Wolk (Sasol BMW), Mathew Hodges (VW Motorsport Jetta), plus privateers Michael van Rooyen (RCS BMW) and Johan Fourie (EPS Couriers BMW).
Keagan Masters (VW Motorsport Golf Gti), has won all but one of the season’s Sasol GTC2 races thus far, and he must be the logical Zwartkops victory favourite. Chasing him will be drivers like Trevor Bland (Universal Health Golf Gti), Adrian Wood (Kyocera VW Golf Gti), Bradley Liebenberg (Ferodo Mini JCW), Devon Robertson (Champion Mini JCW), Dayne Angel (Autohaus Angel Honda Honda Civic), Charl Smalberger (Sabertek VW Golf Gti) and Johan Pretorius (Universal Health Golf Gti).
The day’s biggest crowd drawcard could well be the races for G&H Transport Extreme Supercars. After a series of victories earlier this year, the favourite to win must be Charl Arangies in his Stradale Aston Martin Vantage GT3. His closest adversaries should include Jonathan du Toit (TAR Ferrari F430), Dawie Olivier (G&H Transport BMW M3), Mark du Toit (TAR Ferrari 430), Nicky Dicks (Curvent Porsche 997 GT3), Anton Cronje (AF Hydraulics Subaru WRX), Darren Winterboer (Barons BMW 335i F30), Kasher Naicker (Aqua Darshan BMW E90) and David Coetzee (ELKSA BMW E36 Turbo).
The closest racing of the day should be produced by the Engen Polo Cup contingent, with the all-new turbocharged cars sure to set a new Zwartkops category lap record. Jeffrey Kruger (Universal Health Polo), will start as favourite, challenged by Tasmin Pepper (Electric Life Polo), Charl Wilken (Cronje’s Auto Body Polo), Juan Gerber (Gerber Polo), Jonathan Mogotsi (VW Motorsport Polo), Jason Campos (Turn 1 Polo), Justin Oates (URUP Polo), Darren Oates (Payen Polo) and Shaun La Reservee (Alpine Motors Polo).
Top contenders in the Investchem Formula 1600 category should be Andrew Horne (Xena Chemicals Mygale), Nicholas van Weely (Magnificen Paints Van Diemen), Alex Gillespie (ERP Trucking Mygale), Andrew Schofield (Investchem Mygale), Joshua Dolinschek (Makita F1600), Brendan Tracey (Investchem Mygale) and Siyabonga Mankonkwana (Cervinia Mygale).
Graeme van Breda (Stefanutti ZX10R) and Sven Grune (Kawasaki ZX10R) should continue their season-long fight for supremacy in the Red Square Kawasaki Masters races. Chasing them should be riders like Jaco Gous (Kawasaki ZX10R), Pieter de Vos (Kawasaki ZX10R), Johan le Roux (Avidan ZX10R), Appanna Ganapathy (ART ZX10R), Andre’ van Vollenstee (Stunt SA ZX10R), Teddy Brooke (Brooke Refrigeration ZX10R) and Gareth Bezuidenhout (www.licence4u.co.za ZX10R).
The event’s largest entry list will be provided by the races for Car Care Clinic 111 Sports and Saloon Cars, with 31 entries to face the starter. Podium chasers should include Wouter Roos (Strata Drilling Golf), Neil Lobb (TVR Chimera), Lucas Bezuidenhout (Pretoria North Toyota Lexus), George Bezuidenhout (Accolade Nissan Primera), Ishmael Baloyi (TAR Honda Civic), Harry Arangies (Stradale Porsche 944), Louis Cloete (SV Tech VW Beetle), Veritie-Anne Joubert (Honda Spares Balade) and Rodney Norman ((3D Nutrition Honda Ballade).
Jonathan du Toit (TAR Honda Civic) and Brett Garland (autObarn Honda Civic) must be the favourites at the front end of the autObarn SuperHatch races. Also in the loop must be drivers like Andre’ Dannhauser (Jestik Opel Corsa), Chris Davison (Precision Technologies Opel Superboss), Nic Martin (RDG Opel Kadett), Melanie Spurr (Nathans VW Polo), Ishmael Baloyi (TAR Honda Civic) and Trevor Stringer (PTM Excellence Peugeot 206).
The Zwartkops gates will be open from 7am, with Official Qualifying sessions in the morning. Racing proper will commence at 10.40am. Racing apart, the circuit will offer shopping stalls, food and drink for sale, a kiddies’ corner, plus live entertainment in the paddock area.
Everybody is invited to visit the pits on foot at any time, with the circuit’s Mini Moke trailer trains to run between the grandstands and the pit gate throughout the day.
Admission will cost R120 per adult and R90 for students, with kids under the age of 12 years to go in for free.
Story by Andre de Kock – The Citizen