AG Lubricants

Technical Gremlins spice up the racing

The second round of the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars threw curve balls left right and centre at the competitors over the two day event at Zwartkops Raceway. At the end, the magnificent show delivered some spectacular racing with a maiden win for JP Nortje and an incredible win by Mackie Adlem from last on the grid.

Shortly before the first practice on Friday (5th April) the heavens opened up and delivered torrential rain for most of the day. It was unnecessarily dangerous for the competitors to go out and practice at the track that is most frequently visited by the series. Only just before dawn, the track dried up enough for a handful of V8’s to go out for a few installation laps.

On Saturday (6th April) it was back to business for the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars with the regular 15 minute qualifying. Although the rain was in the forecast, it would stay dry throughout the whole day. Thomas Reib (Cafe 9 Automotive) took pole position but only after the session it became clear on what a miraculous job he had pulled off. In his first flying lap his gearbox played up and had to do his runs without the essential 3rd gear. Together with Terry Wilford (Ford Falcon), Thomas were the only ones to break the 1:02 barrier.

The first 10 laps race got underway without reigning champion Mackie Adlem who also encountered a faulty gearbox during qualifying. Thomas Reib took full advantage of his pole position and took an instant lead followed by Terry Wilford and Ben Morgenrood (senior) who surprised everyone with a third time in qualifying. JP Nortje, in fourth immediately started to push hard and managed to work his way up to second position. In the final lap when Reib was seemingly cruising to a victory, it was JP Nortje who crossed the line in first. Thomas had encountered yet another technical problem and could barely hold on to second position ahead of Roelf Du Plessis. Championship leader Terry Wilford finished in fourth followed by Julian Familiaris who is becoming a very strong competitor in the series.

The reversed grid second race saw the return of Mackie Adlem, although at the very last spot of the field. David Coetzee (Ford Falcon) and Antonie Marx (Jaguar) were the early show makers of the race. In the meantime,the top runners from the opening heat were working their way up gradually towards the front of the field. But, nothing compared to the whirlwind of Mackie Adlem who had untouched fresh rubber on his Jaguar XKR and steamed past the whole field. By lap 7, Adlem has made his final move and took a convincing win ahead of Wilford and Reib. Thomas managed to squeeze out the fastest lap of the weekend and took home the last “prize” available.

With his consistent races, Terry Wilford increased his championship lead to 7 points over Thomas Reib who climbed from 4th to 2nd in the standing. Although Adlem won the second race, he still dropped a spot in the standing because of his no start in the opening race. Franco Di Matteo who didn’t start at all dropped back to fourth while JP Nortje enters the top 5 after his maiden victory.

Next race: 7 and 8 June – Phakisa Freeway in Welcome.