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Ultimate Street Car, 28 May 2011
People were calling it the most anticipated race of the year, and for good reason. In various classes of motorsport there are many talented drivers with fast cars who never really have a chance to go up against each other. This is where trash talk comes into play, but this event held at Zwartkops on the 28th May put a stop to a lot of that.
Yes, the entry list could have been better, not that it wasn't good of course. There were some top drivers billed to race and unfortunately they weren't able to. Word in the pits was that Toby Venter's Porsche and Dawie Joubert's Lotus had a clash at their last race meeting putting both cars out of action. Stuart Kidgell, famed for his monstrous Alfa-powered Ultima GTR also skipped the event after he was injured in a cycling accident.
A few cars that made it through but had issues were Dez Gutzeit's Lumina Ute, Thouca Mechanicos' C-55 Merc and Dino Minellis's E36 M3 turbo. Thouca and Dino did try but gremlins hampered their efforts. Dino's car was cutting out and Thouca lost the drive belt for the supercharger.
Even so this still left a strong field of entrants like Sav Gualtieri in his E36 M3 turbo, a pair of Joubert brothers (Charl and Pieter) in their Honda-powered Lotus cars, Kris Budnik's E46 M3, the Giancarro brothers in their E46 M3s and even Ignition TV's presenter, Marius Roberts in a race-prepped Toyota Altezza. Interestingly, the oldest car in the field was a 1969 Fastback Ford Mustang.
In the first race it was Charl who took the lead over Sav, followed closely Pieter. That's how the race stayed for the duration, it was pretty uneventful but that doesn't mean it was boring. With the field of cars being what they were, there was hardly a section of tarmac that didn't have a car on it ensuring there was always something for the crowds to see. In between the Ultimate Streetcar races, it was business as usual for a few other classes who were there for their regional race day. Again, this kept everyone entertained.
A few hours down the line and it was again time to see the Ultimate Streetcars on the track. We were all hoping to see the cars that were being furiously worked on in the pits but the problems appeared too severe for a race day fix. Again, it was Charl in the lead with Sav and Pieter trailing. It didn't stay like that though, either Charl had a small problem or Sav turned the boost up, because the M3 slowly reeled the Lotus in. Entering the pit straight the two were side by side and they stayed that way until turn one where Sav had the inside line and Charl was almost trying to overtake on the outside when he had to turn in sharper than he wanted to because of a back marker.
This saw the two leading cars touch and the result was the Lotus spun off the track. Sav had no damage and was able to carry on at the same blistering pace. He took the win with Pieter second and well-known Subaru driver Dawie Olivier taking the third podium spot.
It certainly was a different kind of race to watch and it was a great day out. There's always talk of dwindling numbers of spectators on race days, especially for the regional events but on this specific Saturday, Zwartkops Raceway was packed. I'm not sure about exact figures, but it looks like it could have easily rivaled even a Piper International day. For race coverage, keep your eyes on Ignition TV (DStv channel 265).
- ODI Raceway, Pretoria, 7 April 2010
Two Castrol Edge backed BMWs have broken the 20 year old Standing Start 1km record of 24.318 seconds for road going cars that was set by Peter Manelis in a Pontiac Trans-Am back in March 1990.
- Ultimate Street Car, 28 May 2011
Sav Gaultieri comes 1st in his class at the Ultimate Street Car Challenge in Swartkops raceway, Pretoria.