Nick Adcock in the AidCall24 Rico Barlow Racing Ligier
Image by Paul Bedford – Action Images
The tightest battle of all is likely be among local favourites as the current championship leading Nick Adcock/Simon Murray Rico Barlow Racing/Aid Call 24/7 Ligier JS49 fights it out with Adcock’s former teammates Francis Carruthers and Johan Engelbrecht in last year’s championship winning Harp Motorsport Malta No. 1 Juno SS3.
Adcock and Carruthers drove the Juno to double victories at last year’s Cape 3-hour and together with Engelbrecht in the Killarney 9-hour to wrap up the title, but Adcock has since defected to the rival Cape-based Ligier equipe, so local rivalry will be intense. Those two teams will however have far more than just each other to worry about, with a scintillating field of prototypes headed to the Cape from across South Africa and all of them fully intent to unseat the locals at their home circuit.
Heading down from Durban are super-quick Scribante siblings Franco and Silvio and their immaculate Scuderia Scribante Chevron B26 V8, while another team of brothers looking for Killarney redemption are Jason and Keegan Campos and their Shelby Can Am V8. The Campos boys turned in a staggering lap to put the Shelby on pole for the 9-hour and they will be keen to convert that into a race win this time around, while the Scribantes will want to turn their race-leading Mopar Free State 6-hour speed into a Killarney race win.
Several other notable prototype entries can be expected to to do battle at the sharp end of the grid including Colin Plit’s Tricera Investments Juno SS3 and a trio of Fantastic Racing Shelby Can-Am Nissans including an AidCall 24/7 entry for Mopar Endurance regular Mike Verrier and Wayne Jardine and two others in the hands of Mike Jensen, Mark Lauth and Johan Steenberg.
Former Porsche pilot Stefan Puschavez and Peter Jenkins step up to an MJ Equipment Nardini GT, Eric Salomon and John Amm share the Lotus 23-like Salomon Elf S06 and a trio of Lotus 7s are entered for Schafer Racing’s Rod Schafer and Colin Thorne, a Heidelberg Propshaft version for Hennie Trollip and Dave Sinclair and Neil McLeod and Andreas Letnik’s Just Racing machine should and all be up to good results.
There will also be a most interesting duel for GT honours with local Cape duo Craig Jarvis and Marcel Angel keen on home glory in the monster Panacea Dodge Viper GT3, but they will first have to overcome the likes of Jo’burg visitors Charl and Harry Aranges’ Stradale Lamborghini Gallardo GT3; Keith and Gary Fourie and William D Luzmore’s Porsche 911 GT3; Tato Carello and Rui Campos’ most interesting BMW M3 GT, local rivals Dave Alhadeff and Arnold Lambert in a PP Racing Panoz Esparante and the Mike Altona/Steve Pickering Porsche 910.
Last and certainly not least are the saloon car entries, where a tin-topped battle can be expected for honours between Jozi crew Theo van Vuuren, Bradley Scorer and Chad Wentzel aboard the Mopar Alfa Romeo GT; Ian Howden, Richard Robertson and Rowan Whyte who also travel down from Johannesburg with their ex-production car champion Bucket List BMW 335i and Durbanites Steve Truter and Wayne Lotter’s Sasolburg Autobody BMW M3.
One thing the Mopar African Endurance Series has always proven is that one should least ignore the slowest entries — they tend to run reliably and quickly and are almost guaranteed to be right there the end. On that note, take heed of local crews Peet van Der Walt and Gavin Cerff’s giant-killing PSW Sport VW Golf 1, the Ford Escorts of Lambert Racing trio Dewalt Lambert, Martin Wentzel and Jonathan Gunn and Jaco Lambert, Vance Kearney and Pat Gromley’s UKP entry and Divan Wentzel, Jason Thornton and Barry Williams’ Claude’s Auto Opel Corsa.
“We are delighted with the highest quality entry received for the Mopar Cape 3-hour,” Mopar African Endurance chief Roger Pearce confirmed. “We expect a fierce battle up front — some of the quicker cars have been less than reliable in recent races leaving the old foxes to win — let’s see if that can change this weekend.
“There’s also the most interesting prospect of a varied and competitive GT field, while the tin-tops can be expected to surprise — it’s going to be a great race, whatever the result.”
The Bold Marine GTi Challenge competitors return to the track after a two-month long break.
The GTi Challenge can always be trusted to provide door-to-door action throughout the field as class rivalries rage to ensure another cracking day’s racing, most of all in Class A where recent on and off-track action would have sharpened Nian du Toit’s rivals’ resolve to stop the Challenge veteran and his Cheaper Cars Jetta from once again clearing off into the distance.
Du Toit was unstoppable last time out as he sped to a pair of dominant Class A wins, but rest assured that his principal rivals Marco Busi (Automan Jetta), Jano van der Westhuizen (Kwikfix/Bessie Bester Motors Polo), Chris Swart (Spongebob Jetta) and Andrew Goslett (GAP Jetta) have all worked doubly hard in the past two months to ensure that du Toit’s blue Jetta has its work cut out this time around.
Jacques Geldenhuys is another man with a target on his back Saturday — unbeaten in Class B so far this year, much to the chagrin of class challengers Scotty Hayes (Jetta) and Peet van der Walt (PSW Sport Polo), Eden Thompson (Golf 2) and Cash Cars Golf 1 duo Herman Lazarus and Roelof Tolman, most of whom have been spotted practicing in an effort to find those last tenths of a second needed to topple that man Geldenhuys and is Ferroli Golf 2. Other Class B entries include rookies Wayne Field (Golf 2), dad Norman (Polo) and son Earl Joseph (Golf), while Damien Lopez and his Polo may well be back to throw a sizeable cat among the pigeons following his first round smash.
And then there is the Brat Pack. The GTi Challenge Class C mob and their swarm of Golf 1s is the epitome of door-banging close racing action and this season’s results show it with three different winners in the first three races. Ebrahim Levy (Jive Armien Levy) and Greatsoft Payroll duo Jarred Simpson and the returning Brian Morgan have each tasted victory, while Dewald Lubbe (Combustion Technology) Gideon Serfontein (Goeie Hoop Onderdele) and Gert du Plessis (Cash Cars) have all been right up there too.
Talking about testing and development, several other Class C lads have been putting in the hours since the last race, including the ever-improving Dillon Joubert (Powder Coating World/TAC Steel), Dillon Jeary (Lucan Racing), Francois Erasmus (QTech/Modjets/GAP) and 15-year old Giordano Lupini (Monroe/Bakkie & Car magazine), while Matthew Curry (Omega) and Mike Venlet should be back on track following their monster crash with Damien Lopez that stopped the opening race of the season.
In the third round of the Mike Hopkins Superbike series David “McFlash” McFadden is likely to be the one to beat. He has a break from his World SuperStock commitments while the WorldSBK crew are in Malaysia so he will be making an appearance on the Suzuki South GSX-R 1000.
His main comeptition is likely to come from Trevor Westman, out for the first time on the brand new 2106 Mad Mac’s ZX-10R, Brandon Haupt aboard the MX Clean ZX-10R and veteran Malcolm Rapson on his Kawasaki ZX-10R.
The 600 Challenge is likely to be a battle between Hayden Jonas and Warren Guantario, each aboard a new Kawasaki ZX-6R. Alex van der Berg (Liquid Blast ZX-6R) and John Oliver on the Glass It R6 are also likely to be up there.
Qualifying sessions start at 08h00 with racing proper getting underway at 09h45.
Download the program (PDF)