Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series to make welcome return this coming weekend

Dare we hope? Citizens have been on lockdown, and machinery has been locked up, but after 4 long and difficult months, freedom it seems is at hand, albeit conditionally. The Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series returns as part of the Zwartkops Winter Challenge on Saturday 25 July, and after the enforced hiatus everyone is looking forward to just some good old-fashioned racing.

In Class A, Lorenzo Gualtieri (SavSpeed BMW E36 328i Turbo) will do battle with Paulo Loureiro (Combined Racing BMW F30 335i). Rick Loureiro has relocated to Cape Town, so sadly will not enter the fray for this round due to the many restrictions the lockdown rules bring. Sav Gualtieri and Stefano Martinelli has also elected to sit this race out with little hope to get their cars prepped and race ready in time.

The semi slick shod Class B will see Andreas Meier (#TrainedAmateurs BMW E36 STC Car) resume hostilities with arch rival Jan Eversteyn (Big Boss Auto/African Surprise BMW E46 M3), Carlo Garbini (Kimbo Coffee BMW E46 328i Turbo) and Oz Biagioni (BioPool Maintenance BMW E46 M3).

Class C will count on Rob Gearing (diebels Alt BMW E30 325is), Troy Cochran (Arrow Automotive E36 M3), Ian Kotwal (Retoria Motors BMW F22 325i) and Renier Smith (#BeldiePolisie BMW E36 M3) to deliver fireworks. Other favourites like Nek Makris and Jimmy Tsimenoglou are keeping their powder dry and will re-join later in the season. Mike Grobler is however still in the process of resurrecting the iconic E39 M5 V8 and will sadly also not be ready for this race.

In Class D, Neil Reynolds (Valve Hospital BMW E36 M3) will cross swords with Varish Ganpath (Prodigy BMW E46 325ci), Klippies Krige (BMW E36 M3) and Matthew Wadeley (#BeldiePolisie BMW E36 M3). Alan Hilligenn and Bernard De Gouveia has also opted not to race for the time being as their vehicles are still in for upgrades. Also starting the day in Class D will be Shane Grobler (Mayfair Gearbox BMW E36 325i) with a new car and a long-awaited return for Salvi Gualtieri (SavSpeed BMW E36 328i Turbo) and Mark Jones (SavSpeed BMW E90 335i) who, after qualifying, will be classed according to their qualifying times.

Class E has some old favourites lining up again with Nicholas van Zyl (Luxury Fragrances for Rides BMW E87 130i), Bertie Rietveld (Rietveld Knives BMW E36 328i) taking on Colin van Son (Bridgestone BMW Car Club BMW E36 328i), Manny Ribeiro (BMW E46 325i Touring) and father/son duo Craig and Nicholas Herbst (Greenhouse Solar BMW E46 330i) who will contest one heat apiece.

The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has reverberated throughout the motorsport fraternity like it has everywhere else, but hopefully reasonably strong fields will still roll out ahead of the return of the long-suffering fans, whenever that may be.

In terms of the protocols set out by the National Command Council and government in response to the spread of Covid-19, Zwartkops will meet and abide by all the requirements necessary to run the Zwartkops Winter Challenge, for both competitors and crews and media alike. It however means that spectators will not be allowed to attend over this coming weekend. Efforts are however underway at arranging for live streaming on the day of which details will be communicated through the official BMW Car Club Gauteng Facebook page.

Source: BMW Car Club   Image: Tony Alves