The fourth round of the South African National Formula Vee Championship took place at Midvaal Raceway in Meyerton.
On Saturday morning, the qualifying pace was set by reigning champion Gert van den Berg (BP Nantes Motors Rhema 2) who was a full 0,5seconds ahead of LushenRamchander (TRA Forza). Jaco Schriks (Bean Child Coffee/Cubed Coatings Rhema 2) andPeter Hills (Lube Fusion Rhema 2)were on the second row after Hills ran off track early in qualifying. Brandon Hills (Lube Fusion Rhema 1.5) ended seventh after he had to pit early in qualifying to fix a misfiring car. Lendl Jansen (Bull Security Forza) was last on the grid after he continued to struggle with gearbox issues.
At the start of Race one, Van den Berg sprinted off to open a 2second lead while Ramchander, Schriks Hills and Jansen (coming from the back) had a good tussle. After some laps, Ramchander started to catch van den Berg and in the process broke the Midvaal Lap Record by almost 0,7seconds to lower it to 1m10,734seconds. In the end it was Van den Berg ahead of a hard charging Ramchander with Hills passing Schriks and Jansen behind them. Ross Rugheimer (Rhema 2) ended behind them with Brandon Hills (Lube Fusion Rhema 1.5) just behind Rugheimer. Travas (Rhema 2) and Fred Rugheimer (Rhema 2) followed home with Shane Helberg (Shanberg Racing Forza)last over the line after spinning earlier in the race. SiyabongaMankonkwana made a welcome return, but retired around halfway through the race.
In the second heat, Van den Berg again got off to a flyer, but Ramchander stayed closer from the start. This time Schriks had Jansen all over him for the duration of the race. Later in the race, peter Hills developed a technical issue and fell back to finish in eighth behind Mankonkwana. On the penultimate lap, Ramchander forced Van den Berg into a mistake while defending the lead. Van den Berg went off and re-joined in fourth. LushenRamchander took the victory with Schriks second and Jansen in close pursuit. Van den berg finished fourth with Ross Rugheimer fifth after Brandon Hills also started losing power on the last lap. Brandon was sixth and Mankonkwana seventh and peter Hills eighth. The battle for ninth was a race long battle with Shane Helberg hanging on with no mistakes this heat to finish just ahead of TravasRugheimer and Fred Rugheimer. This was the best race for Shane who showed he has decent pace if the wheels stay on the black stuff.
The overall victory went to Lushen Ramchander with Van den Berg and Schriks rounding out the podium.
The championship is poised at the halfway mark with the first three split by 11 points:
1. Schriks(Bean Child Coffee / Cubed Coatings) 97 points
2. Ramchander(TRA) 95 points
3. Van den Berg (BP Nantes Motors) 86 points
The next round is 7 July at MidvaalRaceway and promises to be another close battle.
Picture: Gert van den Berg