• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

EL, all set for extreme action

South Africa’s premier Extreme Festival race circus heads to paradise for its sixth round at the glorious seaside East London Grand Prix Circuit, but there will be no time for tanning, towels or that parasol on the nearby Copabana Beach as all series bore down to what promises to be thrilling climaxes.

It’s tight at the top of the Global Touring Car championship where PE championship leader Simon Moss has been consistently quick with regular race wins in his Audi, but he has also had his fair share of trouble to allow Jozi rival Keagan Masters to be close enough in the title chase, prove a threat with his Volkswagen Motorsport Jetta.

The fight for third is even fiercer with just two points between the second Volkswagen of Daniel Rowe, Jozi BMW privateer Johan Fourie and Toyota driver Michael van Rooyen, while BMW men Robert Wolk and Nieyaaz Modack, Tschops Sipuka’s Audi and Gary Formato (Ford) are also in with a shout, especially in the second reverse grid race. VW trio Bradley Liebenberg, Adrian Wood and Charl Smalberger meanwhile top the second division GTC2 charge.

Falken Polo Cup is the melting pot of South African saloon car racing these days with a blend of experienced fast drivers taking on the country’s best young guns in a wild field of identical VW Polo GTIs. The fight up front is between kart star Bradley Liebenberg and reigning Polo champion Jeffrey Kruger ahead of an intense five-car dice for third between Keegan Campos, Chris Shorter, Jurie Swart, Clinton Bezuidenhout and Jason Campos with Dario Busi and Matt Shorter next up and Jonathan Mogotsi keen to dominate as he did on the Border last year.

Investchem Formula 1600 promises another intriguing battle up front between until now dominant championship leader Scott Temple and 2017 champion Julian van der Watt, who made a triumphant return last time out. Will Temple just follow van der Watt home again, or will he make a race of it? Nicholas van Weely sits third in the title chase and keen on a win, while Tiago Rebelo, Andrew Schofield, Siyabonga Mankonkwana, Alex Gillespie and Gerard Geldenhuys will continue their midfield spat with Class B leader, racing lass Ivana Cetinich.

On two wheels, Clinton Seller (Yamaha) has established a strong 1000cc SA Superbike championship lead over Lance Isaacs (BMW) and Yamaha four, David McFadden, Dylan Barnard, Garrick Vlok and Byron Bester. It’s also a Yamaha rout in 600cc Supersport, where the dominant Blaze Baker similarly holds a handy title advantage over Kewyn Snyman, Jared Schultz, Ricardo Otto, Dino Iozzo and Kawasaki interloper Brandon Staffen.

Of local interest, the Border Modified race promises a cracking entry for the national weekend. Martin van Zummeren (Nissan Skyline GT-R) will be up against Bevan Schwartz (Corvette), Johan van der Westuizen (Camaro) and Shaun Gradwell’s lightweight BMW up front, while Class B men Dean Ball (BMW) and Kean Barnard (Harper V8) have upcountry entries George Economides’ rapid turbo Golf and Keegan Pottas’ quick turbo Honda to keep them on their toes.

Expect great action a little further back as Richard Clarke (Honda) not only deals with Jeff Hall (BMW), Brady Choudree (Golf), Bruce Butler (Nardini), Cameron Hall (BMW) and Sean Heideman as usual, but Owen Bridger (Honda Turbo) makes a return and Brent Strydom debuts his new Golf 7R turbo too. The Brat Pack always entertains and Allen Hurn, Sharniel Holmes (Golf), local ladies, Ashton Nel (Golf) and Cherne Marais, Jared de Kock, Brent Strydom and Shaun Beetge will be at it again.

So, Saturday 31 August promises a great day’s racing in paradise at a legendary location. The East London Grand Prix Circuit is situated at the end of Potters Pass off the R72 Settlers Way. Locals can purchase early bird tickets from the BMSC Office, at several outlets in the city or at the gate on raceday. Contact 043 736 4023, office@bmsc.co.za or visit http://bmsc.co.za for more.

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