2015 NATIONAL CIRCUIT RACING CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES KICKS OFF AT ZWARTKOPS

ARTICLE COURTESY OF MOTOSPORT SOUTH AFRICA - www.motorsport.co.za

This year's South African Circuit racing championship series will start at the Zwartkops circuit near Pretoria on Saturday (February 21), with a wide variety of both national and club racing categories taking to the tarmac under the Extreme Festival umbrella.

This will be the nature of national championship racing in 2015, with all of the SA title events to coincide with club racing, to provide spectators with a mixed bag of entertainment.

* Heading up the National part of this Saturday's events will be the opening rounds of the 2015 South African Production Car championship.

The entry list will be topped by the Engen Xtreme Audi A4 of Michael Stephen. The multiple former champion will be supported by the identical car of fellow Engen Audi driver Simon Moss.

Taking them on at the front end of the field will be the Sasol Audi A4 entries of Hennie Groenewald and Gennaro Bonafede, with little indication as to speed differentials between the four.

Formerly known as Class T, the two-litre turbo category will tackle this year's races with no turbo boost limitations, 18-inch wheels and no suspension limits.

Topping the class will be the SMD Racing Ford Focus ST entries of Gary Formato and Shaun Duminy, strongly challenged by the VW Golf GTI entries of Graeme Nathan and Charl Smalberger, plus the Williams Hunt Chevrolet Cruze of Michael van Rooyen.

The privateer category for Post 2004 Production Cars will see Mark du Toit (Audi A4) and Jordan Sherratt (Mini Cooper S) joining the fray at Zwartkops.

* Reigning champion Sheldon van der Linde (Champion Polo) will defend his title in the national Engen Volkswagen Cup category.

His closest adversaries should be Daniel Rowe (Ferodo Polo), Shaun la Reservee (Alpine Motors Polo), Matthew Shorter (Champion Polo), Tasmin Pepper (PG Glass Polo), Lyle Ramsay (Monroe Polo), and John Craig (Tableview Polo).

* The Leisure Grass Northern Bolt and Tool Superhatch category should see 2014 champion Brett Garland (Jonnesway Honda Civic) fighting against people like Hilton van Nieuwenhuizen (ASAP Citroen C2), Jeffrey Kruger (Steamsure VW Polo), Class B’s Nic Martin (RDG Opel Kadett), Stuart Konig (Northern Bolt & Tool Peugeot 206), Jaco Kriel (Motor Mac Opel Corsa) and Class C’s lady racer Mel Spurr in her G&H AKA Opel Corsa.

With the classes determined via a power to weight formula, the Superhatch category always delivers ultra close competition throughout the field.

* The Speed & Sound 111 Sports & Saloons car races should sport entries of more than 30 cars. Top contenders should be people like overall 2014 champion Craig Botha (Golf GTI), Adam Starosteki (G & H BMW Ti), Dougie Truter Imperial Golf R), Jannie van Rooyen (VW Scirocco),Ryan Quan-Chai (BMW M Coupe), Joel Silva (Speed & Sound BMW) and Andy Gossman (Chamdor Veridot Golf).

* The Red Square Kawasaki ZX10 Masters races should be disputed by Tony Klem (Frontier Diamonds ZX10R), Jaco Gous (Van Breda ZX10R), Johan le Roux (Avidan ZX10R), Raymond Keel (BTS Electrical ZX10R), Ian Harwood (TRP Distributors ZX10R) and Andre Denoon (Platinum Auto ZX10R).

* The Thunderbike category should provide brilliant spectacle, with front runners people like Nicolas Grobler BMW 1000RR), Etienne Nelson (Cabac BMW 1000RR), Stephen Steenkamp (Pta Noord Toyota Honda), Konrad Viljoen (Menlyn Gearbox Kawasaki), Shaun Vermaak (5-Star Suzuki) and Teddy Brooke (Brooke Refrigeration Kawasaki) at the front end.

* Rounding out the on-track entertainment will be two Silverton Bolt and Nut Brunch Run Challenge races, plus a Drifting demonstration.

As always, Zwartkops will offer live singers, kiddies'entertainment, a beer garden and stalls

Spectators can visit the pits from any vantage point around the circuit by simply hopping on their constantly circulation Mini Moke wagons.

The gates will open at 7am, with qualifying sessions in the early morning.

Racing proper will commence at 10am.

Admission will cost R90 per adult and R60 per student, with kids under the age of 12 going in for free.

To find out more, call the circuit at 012 384 2299 or visit the www.zwartkops.co.za website.

Published by: Andre de Kock

Picture Caption: Gennaro Bonafede (Sasol Audi S4) could win Saturday’s National Production Car races at the Zwartkops Raceway. Photography by: Dave Ledbitter.

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