Scribante triumphant at Zwartkops

On a day where the rain that the weather forecast promised stayed away, Franco Scribante (Porsche 997 Turbo) won both heats at the third round of the 2019 G&H Transport Extreme Supercars championship, held at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 6 April. In both races, he was followed over the line by Jaki Scheckter driving the Drizit Environmental Lamborghini Huracan normally piloted by Greg Parton. Darren Winterboer (Barons Motor Spares BMW M3) claimed the final podium position in the opening heat while that honour went to Sam Hammond (Trinity Security Lamborghini Super Trofeo) in the second heat.

Jaki Scheckter
Jaki Scheckter in the rain on Friday

Rain throughout most of Friday’s practice sessions meant that not much could be read into the times that were set although that changed the next day. Saturday morning dawned cool, but the forecast rain stayed away. By the time the qualifying session began the clouds had disappeared and the circuit was bathed in sunshine. Scribante was quick to signal his intentions, claiming pole position with a time almost eight-tenths of a second quicker than Scheckter with Jonathan du Toit (Trans Africa Racing Ferrari F430) in third.  

After electing to compete in the Polo Cup for most of last season, Darren Winterboer returned to the G&H Transport Extreme Supercar field at Zwartkops and was immediately on the pace in his Barons Motor Spares BMW M3, qualifying in fourth place. Ricky Giannoccaro (G&H Transport Lamborghini) was next up, just ahead of Corrie Volschenk who was making his first appearance in the Elite Tents and Events Lamborghini.

Elwyn Steenkamp (JEYS Consultants BMW M3) was just two tenths further back in seventh place. He had Franco Di Matteo (Deltec Batteries Alfa GT) alongside him on the fourth row of the grid. Hammond lined up ninth, ahead of Gianni Giannoccaro (G&H Transport Lamborghini).

Franco Scribante leads the way
Franco Scribante leads the way

In the opening heat, Scribante soon opened up a gap to the chasing pack and was able to control things from the front. Behind him Scheckter led du Toit and Winterboer until du Toit’s Ferrari came to a halt with a suspected sensor failure, promoting Winterboer to third. Behind them, a three-way battle developed between Ricky Giannoccaro, Steenkamp and Hammond. The three of them spent most of the race separated by not much more than a couple of car lengths with Hammond in front of the group when it counted. Steenkamp ended fifth just ahead of Giannoccaro. Volschenk ended in seventh ahead of Rick Loureiro (Combined Racing BMW 335) with Johan de Bruyn (OdorCure Porsche GT3) and Ant Blunden (SAJCO Porsche 997 GT3).

Race 2 was similar to the first at the front with Scribante being chased by Scheckter. Steenkamp and Ricky Giannoccaro collided in turn 2 resulting in a safety car and eliminating Steenkamp from the race. Giannoccaro was able to continue, but the damage to his car robbed him of any speed and he circulated at the back of the field. Du Toit’s Ferrari again let him down and with Winterboer’s BMW also coming to a halt, the fight for the final podium position was wide open. Volschenk looked to be in contention, but an off-track excursion dropped him down the field. He eventually had to settle for ninth. A great drive by Hammond netted him third, comfortably ahead of Loureiro and Deon du Plessis (BPM KTM X-Bow). Jaco Nel brought his Nissan GTR35 home in sixth ahead of de Bruyn and Blunden. Roy Obery (Haval Edenvale Porsche 996 GT3), who had a spin early in the race, fought his way back through the field, helped in part by the safety car, to take tenth behind Volschenk.

Johan de Bruyn leads Jaco Nel
Johan de Bruyn leads Jaco Nel

In the overall standings, Scribante claimed Class A+ from Winterboer while du Toit’s mechanical woes gave Scheckter an easy win in the GT3 class. Hammond was a comfortable winner of Class A with Volschenk and Giannoccaro joining him on the podium. Class B went to Loureiro from Blunden and Nel while de Bruyn took Class C from du Plessis. Obery kept his perfect record in Class D this season with another win ahead of Kishoor Pitamber (Siris Ferrari 360) and Len-Henry Gobey (G&H Transport BMW Z4M).