Kyalami, 26th August 2019: One year after Mobil 1 and SAMCAR sealed the deal to become the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars at the Festival of Motoring, the series has proven to be back to its old glory. During the four day festival, the V8’s put up an incredible racing spectacle and brought back dear memories of the series. Mackie Adlem extended his championship lead, but not without enduring battles with the old guards of V8’s.
Saturday (24th August) morning brought the first surprise, when Ben Morgenrood took a dominant pole position, leaving runner up Franco Di Matteo 1,2 seconds behind. This was the perfect way for Ben to celebrate his 50 years in Motorsport. Mackie Adlem, Terry Wilford and Roelf du Plessis completed the top five, while pole favourite Thomas Reib had to settle for sixth. Championship contender and recent race winner, JP Nortje, struggled even more with his 9th place on the grid.
Ben Morgenrood took the lead from pole position, but was put under immediate pressure from reigning champion, Mackie Adlem. In the opening stage, a serious battle commenced and in lap 3 Mackie seems to take a firm lead. Right behind Adlem and Morgenrood, Di Matteo watched the climax unfold for the lead. In lap 6 (of 8) Adlem was hit in the back by Morgenrood, who pushed for the lead, and Di Matteo took instant advantage as the laughing third. While Mackie dropped back to fourth, Morgenrood was on Franco’s tail to take back the lead. With the closest racing imaginable, Franco didn’t crack under pressure and took the first heat win ahead of Morgenrood, Roelf du Plessis, Adlem and Larry Wilford. Championship favourites, Thomas Reib and JP Nortje, didn’t finish the race.
Terry Wilford, who had a troublesome Saturday, was given the opportunity to salvage his weekend as he was second on the reversed grid final race. It was his father, Larry Wilford, who took an impressive lead from 5th on the grid in front of Terry and Mackie Adlem. An early safety car kept the field at bay for three laps – when the second battle of the weekend erupted. Adlem managed to take the lead after the restart of the race, followed by Terry Wilford. Franco di Matteo, who started in ninth position, was on his way to the leading pack when he had a brawl with du Plessis. Roelf kept his ground and glued into third position behind Adlem and Wilford. Adlem took the second race win and the overall victory of the weekend. Franco Di Matteo managed, with his fifth position, to finish overall second ahead of Roelf who nested himself in the third spot all weekend.
“This was an amazing weekend for me”, Mackie elaborated after his race win. “My second race win of the season, overall win and fastest lap. I have managed to extend my championship lead and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the fourth round of the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars.”
Terry Wilford was hailed throughout the weekend for reinstating the V8’s to its former glory. “We have worked long and hard to come to this level again. But it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Centlube and Mobil.”
The penultimate round of the championship will take place on the 20th and 21st September at Aldo Scribante raceway in Port Elizabeth. Mackie Adlem will head to the coast with a 24 point lead over Terry Wilford. Franco Di Matteo (who is leading the Triple Crown) is third ahead of Reib and Nortje.