The Fifth Round of the 2017 SA National Formula Vee Championship, took place at Killarney in Cape Town. This was the return visit, after a very successful race meeting, held in 2016.

With the Southern Region Formula Vee drivers, working hard to close the gap to the National boys, close intense racing, was expected. During Friday’s open practise sessions, Lushen Ramchander (Miami Products and Services Forza), was quick out of the blocks and led all of the sessions, on Friday! The regulars were on the pace, with Jason Greyling (Hi-Tech Doors Forza) being the only Southerner, able to challenge the regular National Contenders and he was as high as 4th quickest, during the Friday practise sessions.
Saturday’s qualifying, saw Ramchander make an early mistake and get stuck in the gravel trap at turn 1, for a couple of laps. Jaco Schriks (Cubed Coatings Rhema 2), who was not fully fit, pressed through and put himself on pole position, ahead of Siyabonga Mankonkwana (Cervinia Investments Rhema 2), Lendl Jansen (Bull Security Rhema 2), Peter Hills (Lubefusion Rhema 2), Ramchander and Gert van den Berg (BP Nantes Motors Rhema 2), while Greyling, qualified 6th, really close to the front group, of National Championship contenders! Brandon Hills (Lubefusion Rhema 1.5), was struggling, with brake problems and would be starting, from 7th, on the grid.

William Vice

Saturday’s qualifying, saw Ramchander make an early mistake and get stuck in the gravel trap at turn 1, for a couple of laps. Jaco Schriks (Cubed Coatings Rhema 2), who was not fully fit, pressed through and put himself on pole position, ahead of Siyabonga Mankonkwana (Cervinia Investments Rhema 2), Lendl Jansen (Bull Security Rhema 2), Peter Hills (Lubefusion Rhema 2), Ramchander and Gert van den Berg (BP Nantes Motors Rhema 2), while Greyling, qualified 6th, really close to the front group, of National Championship contenders! Brandon Hills (Lubefusion Rhema 1.5), was struggling, with brake problems and would be starting, from 7th, on the grid.

Race 1 got off to a frantic start, with the first six changing positions, quicker than the commentator could handle. Brilliant close wheel to wheel racing followed, until Ramchander spun at turn two, with three laps to go. Then championship leader, van den Berg, followed his example and spun at turn one, during the final lap! Both re-joined but had lost, valuable positions.

Jason Greyling

In the end, Schriks took the chequered flag, ahead of Hills, Mankonkwana and Ramchander, while Jansen and Van den Berg stole sixth place, from Greyling, and 15year old JP Hamman (Gatskop Racing Lantis) finished eighth, ahead of Brandon Hills and Richard Carr, while Byron Mitchel (Dolphin Engineering Sting) and Blaze Nicholas (Dolphin Engineering Lantis), rounded out the point scoring positions.
During the second race, a similar pattern evolved, however, Jansen suffered mechanical gremlins and retired, but was replaced by Greyling, in the six car battl, at the head of the field! That was, until Greyling’s engine cover came loose and acted as an airbrake!

The lead battle, raged on, until the end and Schriks scored maximum points, after his second victory of the day! He was followed over the line, by Ramchander, Hills, Mankonkwana and van den Berg, all covered by less than two and a half seconds. They were followed, by Brandon Hills, Greyling, Mitchel, Carr. Nicholas and Hamman, with William Vice (Valley Funerals/Bidvest Car Rental Laser), rounding out the points scoring positions.
Interestingly, almost all of the competitors, improved on their previous best, lap times and the lap record, was broken by Mankonkwana, with the new mark set at 1min 21,268sec. An amazing 144km/h average speed, for these 1400cc cars! Overall results, saw Schriks, Hills and Mankonkwana on the podium, with Jason Greyling receiving the Extreme Festival Driver of the day award.

 

A new lap record for Mankonkwana

The Southerners answered the question, during this weekend and they were closer, than last year. The effort put into this event, was amazing and the camaraderie, is what Formula Vee is all about.