Extreme Festival Zwartkops Raceway – 11 June 2022
Saturday was going to be a jammed packed “spectator filled” event with 10 series on the programme, which included the exciting pocket rockets all the way from Mozambique. Qualifying was held Friday afternoon due to the hectic schedule on Saturday. Practise sessions as we know are critical for setup which now meant we had limited time on the Friday morning and then only one session after the lunchbreak to do final adjustments before official qualifying. “, the pit area was a complete Panic Station Zone on Friday”
Friday Qualifying started around 15H00
Car Care Clinic 111: I managed a 1,14,260 and was pipped by Roland Hopkins with a 14,252 into 2nd in class B and overall 17th on a jammed packed grid which included the extremely fast GT series led out by Louis Scholtz and taking pole.
On Track Clubman: Our chairman and club representative in consultation with the COC decided at the last minute to abandon the traditional qualifying and to do a reverse Grid for Heat 1 based on current points standings as several members were not being able to make the Qualifying session Friday afternoon – (this was great new for me as this put me front of class due to the issues as I had at the last event.
Saturday morning racing started at 7am with the “On Track Clubman’s “first up on the programme.
Considering the weather forecast and such an early start it was decided to book the team in at a B&B 10 minutes from the track. Staying over at the B&B avoided an amazing 04H45 wakeup call and then a further 45 min drive from the south of Johannesburg in what would have had needed to be a snowmobile of sort as the temperature Saturday morning was hovering around (– 1 degree mark) ——— the polar bears weren’t even up and about and more than likely sipping hot chocolate in their igloo .
In life we come to realise no good deed goes unpunished and when jumping in the Vito on this fresh morning to make our way to the track with the team our Vito’s windscreen had frozen up solid and we simply could not see a thing through it. Boiling a kettle and finding a container to fill warm water was a mission on its own and then key to the process was to start trying to warm the Windscreen with the heater to avoid a crack and help the speed up process of clearing off the layer of ice.
Once we had completed the windscreen mission and cleared off the ice, we all jumped into the van and headed out the gates of the B&B gates towards Zwartkops at speed. Slightly behind schedule and all rather bleak with life due to the freshness in the air as we all now had reached a frozen state of consciousness as result of the window. I am extremely embarrassed to say as I was not totally impressed with the cleanliness of the window and I decided to use the wipers and by habit hit the window wipers in the mode that activates the water function at the same time —- guess what the window froze up immediately again and brought the Vito to a grinding holt (you can just imagine I was not popular at all ) . Due to my “AC/DC and eagerness for a clean windscreen by the time we got to the track the On Track Clubman’s were already circulating on the warmup lap… for Heat 1
On Track Clubman’s
Heat 1 (DNS)
Starting from the back of the grid it was going to be challenging to work my way up the field to hopefully try grab some points. Zwartkops makes it difficult to get past the back markers as the straights are not long enough to power past them and requires a degree of patients and then you start picking them off one by one… only problem is in an 8-lap race time is not on your side and when the chequered flag dropped, I had fortunately managed to work my way up to 3rd in class.
Care Care Clinic 111
Pipped by a flying Roland Hopkins in his Polo at qualifying meant I had to get into a good position on the inside of the main straight when the flag dropped for turn1 so to ensure a solid drive out of turn 2 to try get a run-on Roland and a charging Jannie van Rooyen in his super quick Scirocco and Chris Smit in his Turbo charged Porsche. The Shield Golf was on song on the roll up and when the flag dropped, and I managed to squeeze myself into a favourable position to get the drive I needed for Turn 2 and was past Roland heading into Turn 4 and managed to stay in front of the pack of chasing wolves until the chequered flag giving me a victory in Heat 1
Crossing the line ahead in class B by the narrowest of margins in Heat 1 from a chasing Jannie van Rooyen, who had found some additional pace in his super light Scirocco towards the end of the race I knew this Heat was not going to be a walk in the park. When the flag dropped and by the pace set by the lead GT car, I knew things were going to be hectic on the first lap as the tyres were struggling to get up to temperature. Heading up the back straight and into turn 4 all I saw was smoke and dust and Adrian Dalton and few of his class A competitors in the kitty litter with a banged-up panels and broken suspension. Fortunately, I missed all the carnage and manged to get through the field and found myself running up around 4th in 111. Yellow Safety Car flags came out and with all the commotion some over taking happened under the flags causing a few hard discussions with the COC at the end of the race. Once all the dust had settled and the COC had made his decision the Shield Golf had managed to come out top in both Heats. Great Team Effort from the Shield Golf squad.
Currently the Shield Golf is laying second in Class B with 34 Points behind Roland Hopkins IN 1ST g with 40 & Chris Smit in HIS Porsche 3rd with 25 points making up the top 3 at the halfway mark.
Big thanks to the Shield Team and the next 111 race is only on the 13th of August at ZWARTKOPS.
Look forward to seeing you there!