The next instalment of the 2022 Mobil 1 V8 Supercars battle will see Round 5 at Zwartkops Raceway this coming weekend (14-15 October).
The revised 2022 calendar will see this, the penultimate round, being the third of four visits to the Pretoria circuit. As the shortest circuit on the calendar, it often produces some of the closest contests at the front of South Africa’s fastest circuit-racing series.
Mackie Adlem (#1 Adlem Auto Jaguar XKR) has all but wrapped up his sixth-consecutive title at the previous round in Cape Town, just under a month ago. Mathematically, it is still possible for Franco di Matteo (#3 Laude Jaguar XKR) to take the crown from Adlem if the latter does not score any points in the remaining rounds, and only if Di Matteo takes every point on offer. However, Adlem will not be looking to play it safe. With five wins from nine starts already, he will aim to add more silverware.
Di Matteo is also locked in a battle for the runner-up spot. A disastrous Cape Town weekend saw a minimal points return for Di Matteo, who did enough to hold onto his second place in the championship by a single point. With his previous 2022 wins coming at Zwartkops Raceway, he will be looking forward to returning to the circuit. Julian Fameliaris (#20 Lube-Net Chevrolet Corvette) is having his best season to date. With one win already in 2022, he is hungry for more victories and to improve on his Zwartkops-best of second place.
Thomas Reib (#9 Mobil 1 / Café 9 Automotive Chevrolet Lumina) missed the previous Pretoria outing, but a host of solid podium results sees him trailing Fameliaris by only six points. Terry Wilford (#21 Fuchs Lubricants Ford Mustang) is a further six points adrift. Still winless in the season, he will aim to turn that around at the circuit that saw his last victory.
Warren Lombard (#6 PepBoys Automotive Ford Falcon) trails Wilford by 35 points, but he could rejoin the top five with two rounds remaining. That will depend on his results this coming weekend at the circuit where he is always in the leading battles, but where he had some of his worst luck in the season. David Coetzee (#53 ELKSA Competition / Adlem Auto Ford Falcon) and Sam Dahl (#98 Arcprotech Ford Falcon) are tied on 77 points and will be in search of their maiden podiums.
Richard Fuller (#12 Idemitsu Ford Falcon) dropped out of the top 10 after mechanical issues saw him miss the past two rounds, but he will be eager to revisit his early season form. Antonie Marx (#10 Reman Africa Chevrolet Corvette) will make his first appearance since the Round 2 visit to Zwartkops Raceway.
Steve Herbst (#7 PPG Coatings / Prei Instrumentation / QI Systems Chevrolet Corvette) suffered one of the worst fates for any driver in Round 4. His weekend did not even get started due to a latent engine issue which the team discovered as the loaded the car onto the trailer for the trek down to the Cape. Few drivers will be as hungry as Herbst to get back up to speed, having last started a race in Round 1. Auke Compaan (#66 Hurricane Automotive Ford Mustang) looked competitive in his return to the circuit before mechanical issues brought his Cape Town weekend to an early end. He is eager to line up on the grid again. Larry Wilford (#77 Fuchs Lubricants Chevrolet Corvette) will also be back after missing the last round.
Nicole Jooste, Marketing Manager for African Group Lubricants, is hoping for another successful race weekend. “The turnout in Cape Town was superb, and we hope Gauteng’s motorsport fans will be just as eager to attend this weekend’s event. We can’t pop the cork yet for Mackie, but we will bring the chilled champagne next weekend. With so much still to play for, we know the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars field will put will on an excellent show.”
Saturday’s two races will start at 11:40 and 14:40 and will be contested over 10 and 12 laps, respectively. Spectator tickets can be purchased at the gate, and the event will also be streamed live on the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars Facebook page and 2WheelsTV YouTube channel.