George dominates as Bailey, Hepburn and du Plessis take titles
A typical Highveld thunderstorm turned the final Historic Racing South Africa Pre-90 Sports and GT and Pre-80 Saloon championship round on its head at Delmas’ Red Star Raceway on Saturday. It delivered a surprise result and a championship twist or two, while the Charlies SuperSpar Pursuit action delivered its own share of action to close off its 2021 season.
The first race went pretty much to form as Class B GT man Peter Bailey cleared off up front to take his customary win in his purple Bailey Cars Porsche 911 Carrera RSR. He left Class C duo Stuart Konig’ and Jannie van Rooyen’s Volkswagen Sciroccos to entertain in pursuit. They fought all the way, with Konig ultimately taking the advantage by all of half a second.
Rene van Rensburg’s SV Tech Ford Escort held off saloon rival Gavin Lundin’s Datsun and George Avvakoumides’ Liqui-Moly Porsche 911 RS GT Porsche to take Class D while Riaan Roux’s Scirocco beat Tony Lundin’s Datsun 1200 GX, Jaco Roux’s Scirocco and Sean Hepburn’s Automobile Association Datsun 1200 Deluxe to Class E.
Jan Jacobs’ Oliphantsfontein Alfa Romeo GT Junior and Riaan De Ru’s Anglia provided the other on track entertainment as they fought hard throughout to also end up split by half a second ahead of Class H winner Steve Pickering’s Class F Porsche 916. Andre van der Merwe and Stefan Puschavez’s Porsches, Sophos Pantazis’ Nissan 240Z and Daniel Lotter’s Escort did not finish.
Then a Highveld thunderstorm drenched Red Star just in time for the second heat. The sopping track turned the racing order on its head as George Avvakaimides took to the conditions like a duck to water. He emerged from the gloom and sped off to a dominant heat win aboard his Class D Porsche. Behind him, the similar cars of Andre van der Merwe and Stefan Puschavez were also loving the wet as they came home second and third.
Gavin Lundin was another driver to revel in the wet conditions. He splashed home fourth overall to take an unexpected Pre-80 Saloon car win in his Class D Datsun ahead of Class C winner Stuart Konig’s Scirocco and Class E trio Riaan Roux, Tony Lundin’s Datsun and Jaco Roux’s Scirocco. Jan Jacobs was another wet weather star in his Class G Alfa as he beat E man Sean Hepburn and the GT Porsches of the struggling Peter Bailey and Steve Pickering home.
Van Rooyen and de Ru both quite literally took early showers as Pantazis and Lotter did not start. His wet track prowess saw Class D man Avvakoumides take a dominant overall and GT win for the day from ahead of Saloon and Class C victor Konig. He did just enough to hold second class D man Gavin Lundin off, with Class E quartet Riaan Roux, Tony Lundin, Jaco Roux and Hepburn next up. Bailey was classified as the Class B winner, Jacobs won Class G and Pickering H.
All of which means that Sean Hepburn is provisionally the overall Pre-80 Historic Saloon car champion in his AA Datsun from Scirocco duo Riaan Roux and Stuart Konig. PE driver Rudolf de Vos did enough to take the Class B championship in his Chevy Can-Am, while Deon van Vuuren took Class C in his Mazda R100. Konig took Class D, Roux E, Hepburn F and Jan Jacobs won Class G in his Alfa.
George Avvakoumides meanwhile crowned his brilliant day by clinching Class D and second overall 2021 HRSA Sports and GT championhip behind Peter Bailey, who took the Class B title too. Andre van der Merwe took the Class C title, Stefan Puschavez took Class E and Pickering is Class F champion. All 2021 Historic Racing South Africa titles remain provisional until ratified by MSA.
Moving along to the back to front handicap Charlies SuperSpar HSRA Pursuit Series action, there was a surprise as Trophy class racer Andre Dannhauser aced his handicap to take the first heat in his yellow Opel Kadett. He held Modified Fine winner Althea Pretorius’ Nissan Exa off as second Trophy man Hilton Ewart’s Alfetta kept Modified trio Frans Venter’s Nissan 280ZX, Werner Hartzenberg’s Porsche 916 and Rob van Aarle’s Datsun 180U SSS at bay.
Fines winner Bert van Aarle’s MX5 was next up ahead of four more Modified men, Machiel Oberholzer’s Mercedes Wynand du Plessis Sr. and Clive Winterstein’s Porsches and Willem van Niekerk’s Marauder. Gerrit Murray’s Alfa Romeo GTV was next home from Mike O’Sullivan trying out his new Youngtimer Honda Ballade, Michelle Smith’s Skyline, Heinrich Norton’s Porsche and Riaan Roux’s Scirocco. Karel Stols’ Sentra and Tihan van Rooyen’s Porsche did not finish.
Althea Pretorius then took a wet second race from Hilton Ewart, Andre Dannhauser, Werner Hartzenberg, Rob van Aarle and Frans Venter. Riaan Roux ended seventh from Gerrit Murray Wynand du Plessis Sr and Tihan van Rooyen. Bert van Aarle, Machiel Oberholzer, Willem van Niekerk, Mike O’Sullivan, Michelle Smith, Karel Stols, Clive Winterstein and Heinrich Norton opted not to start due to the weather.
So, Fines class lady Althea Pretorius took the day in her Exa ahead of Trophy class top two Andre Dannhauser’s Kadett and Hilton Ewart’s Alfetta. Modified four, Werner Hartzenberg, Frans Venter, Rob van Aarle and Wynand du Plessis Sr were next up ahead of Fines Class winner Bert van Aarle, Machiel Oberholzer and Gerrit Murray.
Subject to MSA ratification, Wynand du Plessis Senior is overall 2021 Charlies SuperSpar HRSA Pursuit champion in his Porsche 944 S2, from Porsche 916 man Werner Hartzenberg and Althea Pretorius’ Nissan Exa. They are also the Modified Fine Car top three. Bert van Aarle’s Mazda MX5 took the Fines title from Rob Clark’s Citroen and Richard Tudor-Owen’s Mercedes. And Riaan Roux’ Scirocco is the Fines champion from Tihan van Rooyen’s Porsche and Gerrit Murray’s Alfa.