• Round 2 of the SA Endurance Series took place at Aldo Scribante Racetrack.
• Charl Arangies and Stuart White took victory this time around.
• Round 3 is scheduled to take place at the East London Grand Prix circuit on 5 September.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
The windy city lived up to its moniker when it delivered 65km/h winds on Saturday, 15 August for the Mandela Bay 500, the second round of the SA Endurance Series which took place at Aldo Scribante Racetrack.
Just three weeks ago, Charl Arangies and Xolile Letlaka took victory in the opening round. This time, in the absence of Letlaka, Arangies partnered with Stuart White, and the pair took a comfortable win in the Into Africa Mining/Vaal Fluid Systems SA Lamborghini Huracan. They were followed over the line by Marcel and Dayne Angel (Autohaus Angel Ferrari 488) with the Bigfoot Express Freight Porsche 991 GT3 Cup car of Andrew Culbert and Sun Moodley in third.
The wind hadn't reached full strength when the cars went out for qualifying shortly after 9:00, and it was the Franco Scribante Racing Chevron, piloted by Franco and Silvio Scribante, that topped the timesheets, almost seven-tenths ahead of White and Arangies with the Ferrari a further nine-tenths back.
After their car had gearbox problems on Friday, James Forbes and Riaan Botma joined forces with Colin and Shannon Frost in the Strocam Minging Ligier. They lined up fourth on the grid, ahead of the VW Motorsport Golf 8 GTC car of Daniel Rowe and Keagan Masters that was having its first competitive outing. Culbert and Moodley were next up with Aldo Scribante and Bryn High (Scuderia Scribante Audi S4) and the Backdraft Roadster of Tony Martin and Mike McLoughlin filling the fourth row of the grid. The Team Perfect Circle VW SupaCup Polo of Andre Bezuidenhout and Saul Hack headed the fifth row ahead of the Stiaan and Robyn Kriel and Kosie Weyers, in the SK Racing Backdraft Production Roaster, who led their class.
The Scribante Chevron was the early leader, but White, who took the first stint in the Lamborghini was right behind them with the Ferrari third in line. The leading trio quickly opened a gap over the chasing pack, which was led by the Ligier. Once White found a way past the Chevron, other than a short period after the first round of pit stops, the Lamborghini crew were able to control things from the front despite a power steering niggle that cost them an unscheduled stop late in the day. The Chevron, while clearly very quick, is fragile and eventually retired after two-and-a-half hours leaving the Ferrari as the only challenger to White and Arangies. The father-and-son combination suffered a spin after an incident with one of the Minis which cost them a couple of laps, a gap that they were never able to close and they eventually had to settle for second. The Strocam Mining Ligier spent much of the race in third, but mechanical problems sidelined them with just over an hour to go.
The attrition rate in the race was high.
The Scuderia Scribante Audi was the first to retire followed in quick succession by the Maximo Racing Backdraft Roadster of Kurt Bakewell and Bevan Williams, and then the Gazoo Racing Toyota Corolla GTC of Michael van Rooyen and Mandla Mdakane who had, until mechanical maladies struck, been working their way through the field from their lowly starting position.
Michael Stephen, Bradley Scorer and Mikaeel Pitamber (Fast Developments Mini) were the next to take an early shower before the SK Racing Backdraft Roadster stopped with a wheel bearing failure. McLaughlin and Martin damaged the front splitter on their car before being forced into retirement. Then a massive crash in the esses eliminated the Backradft Roadster of Graham, Jean and Tania du Toit shortly after the half-way mark.
Back near the front of the field, the Culbert/Moodley Porsche was making steady progress, running comfortably ahead of the Hack/Bezuidenhout VW after the challenge provided by the Masters/Rowe Golf came to an end. Hack and Bezuidenhout crossed the line in fourth and won Class B with Bryan Morgan and Donovan Taylor taking fifth and the Class E win in their Great Soft Backdraft Roadster. The Old Dog Racing pair of Reghard Roets and Steve Clark were next up in their Backrafst Roadster, a lap ahead of the similar car of Franco Di Matteo and Marius Roberts.
Kris Budnick and Christopher Pretorius piloted the second car in the tin-top category. They brought their Tilt Advisory Mini home in eighth comfortably ahead of GT5 winners Brian Martin and Trevor Graham (Backdraft Roadster).
Eastern Cape racers Stephan Aucamp and Henco Booysen won Class C when they ended the four hours in their Injection Technik/A1 Cooling BMW home in tenth. At the same time, Eduan Bester, Barend and Harm Pretorius (Team Petsy Racing) and Paul Richer and Ryan Bakewell (Maximo Racing) crossed the finish line in their Backdraft Roadsters in eleventh and twelfth.
Mechanical problems dogged the Wright Motorsport Sports 2000 with Gerald Wright, Dean Wolson and Phillip Meyer sharing the driving duties, but the team were able to get the car back on track after a couple of lengthy pit stops to eventually end as the last classified finisher in thirteenth.
Budnik and Pretorius claimed Index of Performance honours from Aucamp and Booysen with Morgan and Taylor in third.
In the shorter 1-Hour Sports & GT Race, run for the first hour of the Mandela Bay 500, Sun Moodley took the win from Roy Obery (Haval Edenvale Porsche 996).
The next round of the SA Endurance Series is scheduled to take place at the East London Grand Prix circuit on 5 September 2020.