The 4.5 hour trip on Friday the 6th of September from Johannesburg to Komatiport was worth every km travelled. For some late travelers, the roads became an absolute nightmare. Some vehicles spent over 6 hours trying to clear a 4.5km stretch between Nelspruit and Malelane, needless to say, they were not very happy when they finally arrived at their respective accommodation.
Saturday the 7th of September 2013:
A bright and clear morning welcomed all drivers at the track with some drivers bringing the whole family out for the weekend. A nice mix of young and old drivers including a very special international guest, MR JQ himself, (Joseph Quagraine AKA – Jonathan). A total of 22 buggy and 5 truggy drivers registered at race control in which was going to be the highlight of the 2013 local racing calendar. It looked like a very intimidating track layout. With a long front straight, tight technical mid sections, doubles, triples, a paved “gun-shot” tunnel / crossover, lightning fast sweepers and a combination of grass and hard packed sugar coated dirt surfaces, we were in for a real treat. Masked with sun-screen (no less than SPF 50!), qualifying got under way around midday with a planned schedule of 3 heats of buggy’s and one heat of truggy`s running a duration of 5 minutes per heat and a total of 4 rounds with only 2 counting (typical format for RCX). Douglas Dyer, ran race control making sure all drivers and spectators were well informed. After qualifying, we ran a special event called the “dash for cash”. This would involve two drivers a round to compete for a “cash” prize whoever crossed the finish line first after 3 laps. The format was run from the last qualifiers to the top qualifiers ie: number 20 would race qualifier 19 and 18 would race qualifier 17 and so on until the last pair had raced. This was an enjoyable race that showed good sportsmanship amongst all racers. Congrats to all the winners…some luckier than others!
Sunday the 8th of September 2013:
Buggy B Final Starting off the grid in a straight line, Anthony and Adam got off to a great start with most of the bunch getting tangled on the first few corners. Adam managed to pass Anthony who later retired and opened up a reasonable lead. Daniel Du Plessis moving up into second was pushing hard to close up the gap until he was later issued with a stop and go penalty for a jump start out of position on the starting line and also later retired from the race. Adam held onto P1 for around 13 odd laps of the race when his motor flamed not once but four times dropping him from 1st to 4th (a frustrating day at the office). With Adam out, Mark drove a consistent pace with no issues lapping consistent 64s laps and managed his tires to ride home the win. Leo who was in 2nd place was hunted down by Albie on the final few laps to end 3rd. Albie who also had an eventful final, ended 2nd. Congratulations to the winners! The Truggy final started around 9:45am. With 5 cars in this race, could David and Quintis repeat the performance of the APN National? The quick answer was no. Both drivers retired early, 11 laps into the final. Anthony Irving who had qualified in P4 did not complete a single lap leaving only Sandra and Jonathan Ment to battle it out for top spot. With Jonathan having a number of motor issues, this opened up the door for Sandra to dominate the final. Hard luck to her fellow racers! So at the end, 1st place went to Sandra with 19 laps a best of 63.458 just proving that consistincy is the key to success! Jonathon took 2nd and Quintis 3rd. The main event of the weekend, the A main buggy`s. With 11 starters, could our SA champion, Miguel challenge Finland`s champ, Joseph Quagraine for top hounours? The race started in +/-37 deg temperatures at 11:40 and was scheduled for 30 minutes of RC action. The first corner saw a number cars get tangled (Jq included) which allowed Justin to quickly take advantage of the opportunity to open up a lead. However in saying that, this was short lived. Justin held onto P1 for around 5 laps after which JQ passed him and never looked back. Jose had bad luck on the opening lap with a broken solder connection. Warren, Jonathan and Morne also retired early. Miguel had an eventful final missing a fuel stop and flaming dropping him down the leader board ending 5th. Daniel De Azevedo (AKA the Porra) and host, Thomas Schmuck battled it out for 4th and 3rd respectively with Justin finishing in 2nd. JQ road home the win with 31 laps, the only driver to ride an under 60s average of 59.067s and best lap of 55.084s. Weld done to all the drivers A brief prize giving and couple of photos ended a terrific racing weekend. We would like to thank all those involved who made the event a success. A big shout out to THE Thomas & Daniel and their team of marshals who worked like Trojans in the baking sun. Thanks to the Azevedo family for providing awesome breakfast rolls and lunch and to Douglas at race control. Thanks to everyone who made the effort to attend the event. We now look forward to the final event of the year, round 5 to be hosted at Meyerton Raceway on the 17th of November 2013. Until then, keep it on the wheels. PS – Please have a look at the photos page for some of the weekends action.