There were big expectations from the drivers in our series going into this event, as well as some curious eyes from the rest of the MSA Super Series. This was one of three invitational events for the year and the only one that formed part of a national tour. We were determined to show that a racing series dominated by fair competition, mature driving and unequalled camaraderie off the track still have their place and value in modern Motorsport. We believe we did just that.
The big talk of the weekend was the debut of the ADF Motorsport prepared Pitamber project car driven by Lee Thompson. It is a 335i Coupe that runs an engine close to Production Car regulations, but with an aggressive aero package, wide slick tyres, a sequential gearbox and top-of-the-line engine management system. The result- a blisteringly quick qualifying time of 1:36.850 around the 4.24 km Free State circuit. Lee continued to dominate the proceedings over the weekend, winning both races and causing a stir in the paddock.
The action behind him was just as exciting. Paul Munro in his Savspeed Racing E36 M3 Turbo collected valuable points with two second place finishes. John Mayer (Tricor Signs E90 335i) and Gianni Giannoccaro (G&H Transport E46 M3 CSL GTR) battled for most of the first heat until tyre wear issues dropped John far back in the field giving Gianni the final podium position and a class win. Class B and C had a proper ding-dong with the usual suspects crossing the line with no daylight between them. Dino Fameliaris (G-Force Racing E36 M3) took Class B honours while only 2 seconds behind, the train of Justin Robertson (Big Boss Auto E36 328i), Riaan Woest (Edge 2 Edge E36 328i) and Joel Silva (Speed and Sound E36 328i) finished within a second of each other. Further up the road, Mark Jones (Savspeed Racing E36 328i) won Class C, beat out all of Class B and some of Class A with yet another outstanding performance.
The second race of the day was scheduled to start at 17:35 PM, causing concern over ambient light. The slick organisers of MSA Super Series had ensured that the day was on time, so by the time we lined up in pit lane we still looked ok. A fire in the race before us, the resulting red flag and a still confusing and unnecessary delay on the restart meant we only started racing at 18:05. The call was made to change the format to a 6 lap race which all things considered seemed the best thing to do. After 2 laps though, it was completely dark and resulted in a tense situation on the pit wall and in every cockpit.
Once again our series surprised everyone by still providing a close race and bringing every car home in once piece. Some drivers were even calling it their ‘mini Le Mans experience’. Lee Thompson once again left the field for dead finishing a full 41 seconds ahead of Paul Munro in second place. John Mayer had less trouble with his tyres finishing within 3 seconds of Paul. Gianni Giannoccaro followed shortly behind to take another Class A win and the triple for the day, closely followed by his twin brother Ricky (G&H Transport E46 M3 GTR). The reverse grid gave Jonathan Araujo (MBS Carriers E36 328i) a chance to get away from Dino Fameliaris and take Class B honours. Justin Robertson used the darkness to his advantage too and got away from Mark Jones in Class C with Riaan Woest close behind Mark. Joel Silva did not have such a good time of it, not enjoying the night driving and taking the sensible approach of driving conservatively and bringing the car and himself home in the same state in which he had started the race.
This was a memorable weekend which was relished by the drivers, teams, friends and families that came along to support. We enjoyed frequent curious visits to our pit area and compliments from the various national drivers and teams, remarking on the impressive discipline, organisation and high standard of racing in our series. Praise doesn’t come higher than that.
Click on individual images to see the entire album: