Franco Scribante (Porsche 997 Turbo) and Charl Arangies (Pagid Racing/Vaal Fluid Systems McLaren 12C GT3) treated the large Zwartkops crowd to a thrilling display of high-speed racing at the fifth round of the 2019 G&H Transport Extreme Supercars Championship on Saturday, 27 July.
Scribante gave an indication of what was to come later in the day when he went around the 2.4km long Pretoria circuit in the fastest time ever by a G&H Transport Extreme Supercar. His time of 59.191 seconds was over a second quicker than Arangies with Pieter Zeelie (Zeelie Auditors Toyota MR2 Super GT) in third. Jonathan du Toit (Trans Africa Racing Ferrari F430) completed the second row of the grid. The third row was occupied by the first of the Class A contenders, Gianni Giannoccaro (G&H Transport Lamborghini Gallardo) getting the better of Elwyn Steenkamp (JEYS Consultants BMW M3), who had his qualifying session cut short when an off-track excursion broke an oil cooler amongst other things. The first of the Class B brigade were on row four, Rick Loureiro (Combined Racing BMW) just over a tenth quicker than Bruce Turner (Promigen BMW). Jimmy Giannoccaro (G&H Transport Lamborghini) was the quickest in Class C while Mark du Toit (Trans Africa Racing BMW Z4) got the better of championship leader Roy Obery (Haval Edenvale Porsche 996 Cup) in Class D.
Scribante got off to a flyer in the opening race with a string of 59-second laps allowing him to open up a three-and-a-half second lead before Arangies started to reel him in. Scribante, however, had things under control and was able to take the win by a couple of car lengths after 10 laps of hard racing. Zeelie ended in a somewhat lonely third. Jonathan du Toit brought his Ferrari home in fourth ahead of Steenkamp, who took Class A after dealing with Gianni Giannoccaro, who ended in seventh, early on. Loureiro claimed sixth, and the Class B win while Turner, Nicky Dicks (Curvent Porsche 997) and Johan de Bruyn (Odorcure Porsche GT3 Cup) rounded out the top ten. Jimmy Giannoccaro took Class C with Obery, Mark du Toit and Len-Henry Gobey (G&H Transport BMW Z4M) within a couple of car lengths of each other at the head of Class D.
A red flag, brought about when Scribante’s Porsche got stuck in the kitty litter after suffering a puncture, stopped the second race after just two laps. Once the race was restarted, Arangies had a relatively comfortable path to victory ahead of Zeelie with Jonathan du Toit in third. Loureiro had a great race to the Class B win, beating all of the Class A competitors on the way and finishing fourth overall ahead of Gianni Giannoccaro and Dicks. De Bruyn improved on his opening race performance to finish seventh ahead of Turner and Jimmy Giannoccaro, who was promoted to Class B after he breached the Class C time limit. Ant Blunden brought his SAJCO Porsche 997 home in tenth. Obery again took Class D from Mark du Toit with Stefan Snyders (Steton Investments Porsche RSR) third in class.
The third race grid, based on lap times set in Race 2, saw Arangies on pole with Scribante down in eleventh after not being able to set a competitive time before getting a puncture. Scribante didn’t let that worry him though and by the fourth lap, he was all over the back of the McLaren. Arangies managed to stay in front until the eighth lap when contact between the two saw Arangies tipped into a spin at the final corner, which led to the race being red-flagged. As over two-thirds of the race had been completed, the officials declared the result at the end of eight laps as the final result which gave the win to Scribante with Jonathan du Toit and Gianni Giannoccaro joining him on the podium. Loureiro, in fourth place overall, again claimed Class B with Dicks and Wynand van der Merwe (Sandton Dental Porsche 991 GT3) in fifth and sixth. Turner brought his BMW home in seventh ahead of Jimmy Giannoccaro, de Bruyn and Blunden. Obery got bumped up to Class C after threatening to do so last time the series visited Zwartkops, which left the Class D win to Snyders ahead of Mark du Toit and Xolile Letlaka (Into Africa Mining Ferrrari 360).
In the day’s overall standings, Zeelie took Class A+ from Scribante with Jonathan du Toit getting the better of Charl Arangies in GT3. Gianni Giannoccaro ended on top of the Class A podium with Dicks and Steenkamp joining him. Loureiro had an easy win in Class B ahead of Turner and de Bruyn while Obery took Class C. Class D went to Mark du Toit from Snyders and Gobey.
The G&H Transport Extreme Supercars head down to the coast for their next outing, this time to Port Elizabeth where the sixth round of the 2019 championship will take place at the Aldo Scribante Circuit on Saturday, 21 September.