Reigning South African National Formula Vee Champion, Symm Grobler (Auto Mecca Rhema 2), has lost the lead in the 2005 title chase, for the first time this year. With a second place finish, in the first heat, followed by a win and the fastest lap, in heat two, Alan Holm (JBS Lasersprint Rhema 2) has now moved into a narrow five point lead, at the head of the Championship log. The first heat, at Cape Town’s Killarney Circuit, was won by Holm’s JBS Lasersprint team mate Jaco Schriks, making it another good day for the JBS team, after the third member of the team, Gareth Jackson, had crashed his JBS Lasersprint Sting heavily, at Sabat Bend, during the first practice session on Friday morning. It was a late night for the JBS team, as they worked toward getting Jackson’s car into some sort of running condition, before race day.

Rain greeted the competitors, on Saturday morning and on a wet circuit, it was local boy Chris Danks (Stalcor Rhema 2) who secured pole position, ahead of Holm, Schriks, Grobler, Peter Hills (Vacuform Rhema 2) and James Leach (Lantis). Well down the grid and battling to keep the car on the circuit, in the wet conditions, was Bobby Nel (DK Office Furniture Lantis), while Jannie Geyser (Vision) had lost most of Friday’s practice sessions, due to a gearbox problem, which had left him with very little track time, to learn the circuit, on his first visit to Killarney.

The circuit was still wet, when the twenty one car field streamed out for the first heat and by the end of the first lap, Danks led, from Holm, Schriks, Hills, Leach, Andre Van Der Merwe (ACC Air-conditioning Rhema 2), Laurent Calkoen (Autoquip Mail & Guardian Vision), Trevor Bland (AC DC Dynamics Rhema) and Kyle Bennett (Rhema). By the following lap, Schriks had moved into second place, before slipping past Danks, to take the lead. The first four, where keeping close company but then Danks spun off at the end of the back straight and Holm and Hills both lost time, taking avoiding action, leaving Schriks out front on his own.

In the meantime, Van Der Merwe had passed Leach, while Bland had also passed Calkoen but then Bland had a moment on the wet circuit and slipped back to twelfth place. Bennett had also been off, rejoining in fourteenth place. There were plenty of other spins and off course excursions, all the way down the field and then Calvin Beekman (Panasonic Laser), slid into the pit wall. This incident brought out the Red Flag and the race was stopped at the halfway mark, with Schriks leading, from Holm, Hills, Grobler, Van Der Merwe, Leach, Calkoen, Bland, Paul Simon (Sting), Bennett, Louis Basson (Lantis) and Nian Du Toit (Lantis).

From the restart, it was Schriks who led the field through, at the end of the first lap, followed by Holm, Hills, Leach, Bennett, Calkoen, Du Toit, Basson, Danks and Romanie Smithdorf (Lantis), with Grobler and Van Der Merwe, coming through, behind the MacDonald brothers, Doug (Rhema) and John (Lantis) and right at the back of the field, after an altercation at Engen Corner. Then, after three laps, Leach retired from the race, after hitting the kerb at Conti Corner and bending one of the suspension push rods, while Ben Pienaar (BJ Pro Welding Rhema) also disappeared from the lap score sheet. Schriks had no such problem and took the chequered flag, from Holm, Hills, Danks, Bennett, Calkoen, Du Toit, Bland, Basson, Smithdorf, Simon and Grobler. After the two parts of the race where combined, the results of heat one, saw Schriks take the victory, from Holm, Hills, Calkoen, Grobler, Bennett, Van Der Merwe, Bland, Simon, Basson, Du Toit and Smithdorf.

For the second heat, the rain had stopped and the circuit was dry, as Schriks led the field across the line for the first time, followed by Danks, Holm, Hills, Grobler, Bland, Leach, Calkoen, Bennett and Smithdorf. The following lap, Holm and Hills, both tried to out brake Danks at the end of the back straight but Hills and Danks touched and spun. Those behind, where forced to take avoiding action, allowing Schriks and Holm to open a good gap, over the rest of the field, as Hills rejoined in ninth place and Danks, in eleventh place. Both where soon carving their way back up through the field, as Schriks and Holm battled it out on their own, with plenty of other good, close battles raging all the way down the field.

Into the final lap, Schriks still held the advantage but as they braked at the end of the back straight, for the last time, Holm made his move and out braked Schriks into Vodacom Bend. Schriks tried to come back at him, in the run for the line but it was Holm who secured the victory, 0,026 of a second ahead of Schriks. Third place went to Hills, followed by Grobler who beat Van Der Merwe to the line, by 0,015 of a second. Danks finished sixth, followed by Bennett, Leach, Bland and Calkoen, with the gap between Leach, in eighth place and Calkoen in tenth place, being a mere 0,043 of a second. Completing the points scoring finishers, where Du Toit and Smithdorf.

Holm also claimed the new Formula Vee lap record, for the Killarney Circuit, with a time of 1min 22,096 seconds.

Original article from Car