The Liqui Moly Legends Championship made their way to the historic Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit on Saturday 28 March for the first time in their history for the second round of the 2015 racing season. Once again this popular series showed its ever growing strength with an impressive twenty three car field lining up on the grid for the first of three races scheduled for the day.
As always the traditional ball draw for grid positions shook things up at the sharp end of the field. Divan Myburgh drew pole position ahead of Seef Fourie. For the second event in a row Morne Stoltz drew third position, this time ahead of Franco Di Matteo. Keagan Wessels was more than happy to pull fifth position with the rest of the motivated field all raring to go as well.
The leading pack made the most of their grid positions with Myburgh leading the charge into the first corner ahead of Fourie, Robertson and Di Matteo. Robertson was as fired up as ever and took the lead at the top of the hill through turn ten. Llewellyn Myburgh was also on a charge and grabbed fourth position from Di Matteo through turn twelve.
Young Wessels was driving with experience beyond his years as he slipped past Di Matteo to grab fifth position on the second lap. Willie Erasmus then relegated Di Matteo to seventh position at the bottom of the notorious “mine shaft”. The battle behind the leading pack was just as good with a string of cars all fighting for the same piece of tarmac. Shaun Nel was being hounded by young lion rookie Clinton Bezuidenhout, with Justin Robertson, Morne Stoltz and series newcomer Stompie Stadler in tow.
Divan ran wide through turn twelve, allowing Fourie and Llewellyn to get up alongside him. It was his cousin Llewellyn who grabbed second position through the next corner however. Divan fought back almost immediately and regained the position a few corners later. Wessels repeated the mistake Divan had made a lap later and Di Matteo snuck through to regain fifth position. The youngster wasn’t going to give up without a fight however and the pair ran side by side through a number of corners on the penultimate lap of the race.
When the chequered flag came out it was Robertson who romped home to victory to claim an easy win. The battle behind him continued all the way to the line with Divan keeping Seef and Llewellyn at bay to hold onto second position. Di Matteo claimed the Masters honours with Wessels claiming the Semi Pro laurels. Young Bezuidenhout was just as impressive as his ninth place overall handed him the victory in the Young Lions class.
Willie Erasmus will go into the second round in fifth position in the championship with leading Master contender Franco di Matteo in sixth. Rudy Myburgh is now too far behind him but young guns Keagan Wessels (Semi-pro) and Clinton Bezuidenhout (Young Lion) will be doing their best to keep the older generation on top of their game.
The unknown factor for this event will be about who can adapt the best to the new circuit conditions. A number of drivers with experience in other categories will no doubt have the upper hand, but as seen at the first event of the year two weeks ago experience doesn’t necessarily make you the best driver on the day. With more than twenty entries expected on the day the racing promises to be better than ever!
Race 1 Results
A partial reverse grid for the second heat of the day set the tone for an action packed race. The drama unfolded before the race had even properly begun when Johnny De Carvalho unceremoniously punted Stadler from behind through turn two. The newcomer’s car became airborne and he was lucky not to roll. Unfortunately this incident ended both of their races
Robertson then pulled into the pits when a loose oil filler cap spewed the contents of the hot engine all over his car. Llewellyn Myburgh mistakenly followed him into the pits thinking it was part of the safety car period, but soon rejoined the race albeit way back in the field.
When the safety car came in on the second lap it was Fourie who grabbed the lead ahead of Erasmus. Justin Robertson slotted into third with Divan and Di Matteo in tow. Divan slipped through for third position with a well timed move through Sunset Corner on lap three. Morne Stoltz ruined his chances when he ran wide through the same corner dropping him way back in the field.
With Fourie starting to edge away from the rest of the pack it was an all out fight for the minor positions. Erasmus was being hounded by Divan with Robertson Senior experiencing the same treatment from Di Matteo. The experienced Masters driver made his move through turn five on lap four with Divan following his example with a great move at the bottom of the Mine Shaft to grab second.
Fourie cruised home to an untroubled victory, with Divan holding on to a respectable second position. Di Matteo had his eye on a podium position and grabbed third position (and first in the Masters class) on the final lap of the race. Wessels impressed once again with another top six result and first in the Semi Pro class. Bezuidenhout was equally impressive with a fine seventh overall to take first place in the Young Lions class yet again.
Race 2 Results
1. Seef Fourie – Best lap: 2:01.565
2. Divan Myburgh – Best lap: 2:01.207
3. Franco Di Matteo – Best lap: 2:02.523
4. Willie Erasmus – Best lap: 2:02.430
5. Justin Robertson – Best lap: 2:04.799
6. Keagan Wessels – Best lap: 2:03.582
The final heat of the day would see a complete reverse grid format setting the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons. The opening lap was a mad charge through the first few corners, with the faster cars in the field making their way through the pack from the back of the grid.
The run up the hill to turn ten saw the leaders fan out four abreast heading into the left hander! When the leaders emerged through turn twelve at the bottom of the Mine Shaft it was Devin Robertson who led the race ahead of Llewellyn Myburgh and Fourie. Steve Nel found himself in fourth position with Wessels hot on his heels.
The battle behind them was just as close with Erasmus fending off Justin Robertson and young Bezuidenhout. Fourie grabbed second position on lap two, with both Wessels and Erasmus getting past Nel as well. A determined Bezuidenhout got past Robertson Senior on the same lap and set about chasing Nel. Divan Myburgh followed suit and decided to join the party. Nel blew his chances however when he spun coming out of turn twelve, retiring shortly thereafter as the final insult.
Divan passed Bezuidenhout on the third lap to move into the top six. With Robertson Junior running away with the race out in front, the battle behind him was far from over. Fourie and Llewellyn were putting on one of the finest displays of racing with the pair running side by side through almost every corner for a number of laps in a row. The action continued behind them as well with Erasmus getting past Wessels to grab fourth position on lap five.
Divan repeated the fete a lap later, and then passed Erasmus for fourth position shortly thereafter. Wessels followed his example and relegated Erasmus to sixth position on the same lap. Erasmus came back at him a lap later however and regained the position at the bottom of the Mine Shaft. The battle behind the top six was just as close with a train of cars snaking around behind the leaders. Di Matteo was making his way through the pack and took seventh position from Bezuidenhout on the penultimate lap of the race.
Robertson cruised home to another impressive victory with Fourie taking a comfortable second. Llewellyn dropped back after spinning through turn four in the closing stages of the race and had to settle for third position. Wessels fought back hard on the last lap of the race to grab fifth position from Erasmus in the last three corners to take the triple in the Semi Pro class. Di Matteo made it a clean sweep in the Masters class, with Bezuidenhout doing the same in the Young Lions class.
Race 3 Results
1. Devin Robertson – Best lap: 2:00.197
2. Seef Fourie – Best lap: 2:01.038
3. Llewellyn Myburgh – Best lap: 2:01.526
4. Divan Myburgh – Best lap: 2:01.657
5. Keagan Wessels – Best lap: 2:03.211
6. Willie Erasmus – Best lap: 2:02.499
Top Ten Points Table
1. Seef Fourie (P) – 910 points
2. Divan Myburgh (P) – 900 points
3. Llewellyn Myburgh (P) – 830 points
4. Devin Robertson (P) – 795 points
5. Franco di Matteo (M) – 290 points
6. Willie Erasmus (P) – 755 points
7. Keagan Wessels (SP) – 675 points
8. Clinton Bezuidenhout (YL) – 605 points
9. Rudy Myburgh (M) – 515 points
10. Shaun Nel (P) – 420 points