Mobil 1 V8 Supercars title battle resume at Red Star Raceway after lockdown break

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Reigning Champion Mackie Adlem is currently the points leader.

Three practice sessions will take place on Friday, with the race to start on Saturday.

Fans can follow the race via live streaming on the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars Facebook page.

For more motoring stories, visit Wheels24.

In a season that already saw two calendar changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to plague South Africa, the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars championship contenders are ready to resume their battle at Red Star Raceway this coming weekend (September 24-25).

Originally, the series was supposed to visit the circuit in early July, but the recent hard lockdown saw this event cancelled. A reshuffle of the remaining dates saw the series opting to join another Extreme Festival date at Red Star Raceway. This also allowed all entrants adequate time to prepare, especially given the severe impact that the pandemic's third wave had on their operations. Unlike the cancelled July round, the circuit will now run in an anti-clockwise configuration similar to the series' last visit in March 2020.

Reigning Champion Mackie Adlem (Adlem Auto Jaguar XKR) will start the second half of the season as the points leader, having scored 171 points thus far. There is very little doubt about his aspirations to remain in this position and add more wins following his recent race victory. In 2020, he dominated the series' visit to the circuit with two race wins from a pole position start. But his primary rivals Franco di Matteo (Deltec Batteries Jaguar XKR) and Thomas Reib (Mobil 1 / Café 9 Automotive Chevrolet Lumina) are just as eager to take the title.

Di Matteo, with 164 points, is coming back from a horrific incident at the Simola Hillclimb earlier this month. He still made a comeback the next day to record a fantastic result, a testimony to the built-quality of the cars and resilience of drivers who race them. Di Matteo, a season regular since the inception of the series, describes himself as more motivated than ever to win the title and is confident in his car's ability. Reib is the only driver so far in 2021 to have more than one victory to his name, along with his 152 points. He is eager to compete for the win at the longer circuit.

Franco di Matteo
Franco di Matteo

Jostle for positions

Terry Wilford (Fuchs Lubricants Ford Falcon) will be aiming to build on his tally of 99 points. Thus far, he has only stepped onto the podium on one occasion with his victory in the season opener and will be eager to repeat that after the season break. Warren Lombard (Pepboys Automotive Ford Falcon) has put a relative margin of comfort between himself and the next contenders at Zwartkops Raceway on a weekend that saw him take his first podium finish in two seasons.

READ | Red Star Raceway to host next instalment of GTC title battle

With 81 points to his name, he leads David Coetzee (ELKSA Competition / Adlem Auto Ford Falcon) by 14 points. Coetzee has certainly used the long break between rounds to prepare for Red Star Raceway, including further analytics of his previous outing at the circuit. The team will also hope to avoid the overheating issues from 2020 caused by grass going into the radiator.

Richard Fuller
Richard Fuller

With Julian Fameliaris (Lube-Net Chevrolet Corvette), Bevin Schwarz (Alco Trucks Chevrolet Corvette) and Sam Dahl (Arcprotech Ford Falcon) all missing the event due to circumstances brought on by the unexpected calendar changes, Round 4 will allow a Richard Fuller (Reventon Auto Ford Mustang) to establish himself in the mid-table battle. Zwartkops Raceway saw a brilliant debut from Fuller, with him leapfrogging seven drivers to 10th place on the points table with 39 points.

Having finished as runner-up in only his second start, he is motivated to step up to the top of the podium, despite this coming weekend being his very first outing at Red Star Raceway. Andre de Lange (Roofsure / Creative Ink Media Jaguar XKR) will also aim to improve on his tally of 31 points. JP Nortje (AMTEC / N4 Autocraft Chevrolet Corvette) will be looking forward to a strong performance to add to his 13 points after resolving his brake issues from Round 3.

Carl Nel (Gears For Africa Chevrolet Lumina) collected 12 points from his first outing for the season and will also have a career-first visit to Red Star Raceway. Steve Herbst (PPG Coatings / Prei Instrumentation / QI Systems Chevrolet Corvette) put his mechanical problems to bed at Zwartkops Raceway and is hopeful that a differential ratio change will see him improve on his record at Red Star Raceway.

Mackie Adlem
Mackie Adlem

Friday will see three practice sessions at the circuit ahead of Saturday morning's qualifying session. Saturday's first race is scheduled to start at 13:00 and will be run over 10 laps, with the second 12-lap reverse-grid race scheduled for 15:45.

The prohibition on the in-person attendance of spectators at sporting events remains in place.

Fans will be able to follow all of Saturday's races via live streaming on the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars Facebook page as well as the 2Wheels YouTube channel.

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