|What||G & H Extreme Supercars Round 4 Race Report|
|Where||Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria|
|When||Saturday 14 August 2021|
|Community||South Africa National|
Experience edges exuberance in Supercar Epic
The G&H Extreme Supercars delivered three red hot racing races as motor racing returned to Gauteng at an icy Zwartkops Extreme Festival meeting on Saturday. It was the case of the old fox prevailing over a hot young gun as the overall win went down to the wire and the last corner of the last lap, while close battles entertained throughout the pack on a freezing cold day.
There was a surprise on pole position as teenage Polo SupaCup driver and former karter Mikaeel Pitamber put his GT3 Pablo Clark Ferrari 458 GT3 on pole position with a 1 minute 1.341 second lap, 0.5 seconds clear of veteran Ben Morgenrood’s monster winged Class A+ Morgenrood Ford Mazda & Mahindra Lexus V8.
Balance of Performance GT3 class Lamborghini quartet, Charl Arangies’ newly rebuilt Stradale Into Africa Gallardo, Greg Parton’s Drizit Environmental Huracan and Gianni and Ricky Giannoccaro’s respective BISC and G&H Transport Supertrofeos were next up. Class A leader Xolile Letlaka’s Stradale Into Africa McLaren 650S GTS sat on the fourth row alongside Class B man Ant Blunden SAJCO GSP CV Joints Porsche 997 GT3 Cup.
Class C leader Marius Jackson's MJR Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT4 was next ahead of GT3 man Mark du Toit’s Trans Africa Racing BMW Z4M, class C duo Oliver Dalais’ Marlboro Crane Hire Porsche 996, Jimmy Giannoccaro’s G&H Transport BMW M4 and Jonathan du Toit’s Trans Africa Racing Ferrari F430 GT3.
Pitamber got the jump, but the cold conditions caught Greg Parton out as his Lamborghini speared into GT3 rival and championship leader Gianni Giannoccaro as the pack approached Turn 3 and both Lamborghinis spun wildly. Parton ended in the turn 3 tyre wall and Giannoccaro rejoined sans rear bumper as the safety car was deployed. Parton’s day got worse when he found he had blown his Huracan’s engine and was out for the day.
Veteran Morgenrood then gained the advantage over young Pitamber and Arangies as racing rejoined and Arangies also passed the Ferrari shortly after. Behind them, Ricky Giannoccaro led Letlaka entertained in their tussle for fourth and were soon joined by Blunden's Porsche. The top three ran nose to tail before Arangies made his move on Morgenrood with three laps to race and drew away up front, leaving Morgenrood to fend impressive rookie Pitamber off for second.
Behind them, Letlaka held on to fourth as Class B winner Blunden jumped Ricky Giannoccaro for fifth and the lapped Jonathan and Gianni found their way past C winner Jackson. Class D winner Uli Sanne’s BMW Z4 was next home from Mark du Toit’s similar Class C car, Dalais and Jimmy Giannoccaro and the troubled Gianni Giannoccaro and Jonathan du Toit in pursuit.
The second race delivered a splendid trio of spectacular battles early on. Arangies held Pitamber at bay up front, Morgenrood and Jonathan du Toit fought it out for third and Letlaka and Ricky Giannoccaro tussled a little further back. Each of those battles were close enough to be covered by a blanket. Leklala then spun to free Ricky up, but young Pitamber made a fine move on Arangies with two laps to race and made best of lapped traffic to take the win.
Behind them, Morgenrood’s Lexus held the du Toit Ferrari off for third with Blunden fifth from Ricky Giannoccaro, Jackson, Sanne, Jimmy Giannoccaro and the recovering Letlaka. Mark du Toit was next home from Dalais and Gianni Giannoccaro. The focus was on the Lamborghini versus Ferrari battle up front with old hand Charl Arangies and young gun Mikaeel Pitamber each with a race win in pocket and tenths of a second between them overall and the final showdown left to run.
The first glint of sunshine was starting to glow through the 10 degree cold grey afternoon when the third and final race came under starter’s orders. Arangies made short work of Pitamber into turn 2 and the two of them made off, leaving Morgenrood to fight Jono du Toit off for third with Letlaka holding a watching brief ahead of Ricky Giannoccaro, Ant Blunden and Gianni Giannoccaro. Letlaka soon made it a three way fight for third, but spun out of contention a few laps later.
A little further back, Marius Jackson was having his Class C Audi R8 work cut out by Jimmy Giannoccaro’s new BMW M4, with Uli Sanne, Oliver Dalais and Mark du Toit in Pursuit. All eyes were however on the action up front as Arangies and Pitamber swapped paint on occasion. The seasoned Lamborghini man however held the attentions of the young Ferrari driver off to take the win by all of two-tenths of a second.
Ben Morgenrood was third home but he was handed a ten second penalty for starting out of position to hand the last podium slot to Jonathan du Toit, with Blunden and Gianni and Ricky Giannoccaro next up. Jackson beat Jimmy Giannoccaro to the Class C win with Uli Sanne in pursuit ahead of Oliver Dalais and Mark du Toit.
Overall, Charl Arangies beat Mikaeel Pitamber by all of half a second to take the day and also take Balance of Performance GT3 win from Pitamber. Ricky Giannoccaro ended third in GT3 from Mark du Toit and Gianni Giannoccaro. Class A+ winner Ben Morgenrood ended third overall, Xolile Letlaka beat Jonathan du Toit to the Class A win, Blunden took Class B and Jackson Class C from Jimmy Giannoccaro and Dalais and Uli Sanne took Class D.
The G&H Extreme Supercars now take a break until their away race at Aldo Scribante at Nelson Mandela Bay on 9 October, where the growing balance of performance GT3 class promises to keep on growing as it develops into a pukka South African GT3 championship.
Issued on behalf of South African GT3
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