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Press Release: SAE

RACING CARS AND ROCK STARS – SA ENDURANCE BRINGS BOTH TO GQEBERHA

PREVIEW: SA ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP, RD FIVE
ALDO SCRIBANTE RACEWAY, GQEBERHA (PORT ELIZABETH), 1st OCTOBER 2022

The fifth round of the SA Endurance Championship heads back to Gqeberha for a six-hour race with double points at stake, starting in the late afternoon and racing deep into the night accompanied by the beat of GoodLuck, DJ Zain SA and Jesse Clegg.

The Spring Motorsport Festival is another innovation from Southern African Endurance Series, featuring non-stop action and activities over the weekend of 30 September and 1 October, returning to Aldo Scribante as the Phakisa track is not up to standard for endurance racing.

Heading the championship points table is 18-year-old Kwanda Mokoena who is accompanied by his uncle Tschops Sipuka, third on the points table. The duo will be behind the wheel of their regular Into Africa/Amandla Coal Audi R8 GT4. The pair raced to victory in both rounds three and four in July and will be aiming to bag the 100 points on offer.

Hein Lategan is in second place on the log only two points adrift of Mokoena. The Porsche 992 GT3 Cup driver will be joined by his regular co-driver Verissimo Tavares. Last time out, Lategan – accompanied by son Henk – missed out on victory by the slenderest of margins and the pair will be looking to make amends.

The two front-runners will have to fend off the Ligier-Honda JS53 Evo of Riaan Botma and Jeffrey Kruger. The Auto Investments team has been short on luck this year and lie in seventh place, but a solid, reliable run could see that change dramatically.

Returning to the SA Endurance Championship is the Aidcall247 with RicoBarlowRacing Ligier-Honda JS53 Evo of Nick Adcock and Dane Michael Jensen. The pair are competing in the European Le Mans Championship and currently lie third in the LMP3 championship. Their one outing this year resulted in a second-place finish, having led the race for much of the time.

They will be joined by Mikaeel Pitamber on this occasion, the teen having a non-clashing DTM Trophy weekend. Pitamber won the opening round and his progress in the Ligier will be watched with interest.

Another potential winning team is the Kalex Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Michael Stephen and Paul Hill. An infrequent competitor lately, the team is more than capable of a podium result.

Colin Ellison not only leads the Class E title challenge in his Titan Historic F1 Racing Backdraft-Lexus, he is fourth in the overall points standings, only one point behind Sipuka. He has recruited Andrew Horne to share the drive in the black-and-gold roadster for the six-hour race to help keep his grip on the leaderboard.
A consistent season sees Benjamin and Crisjan Morgenrood (Ben Morgenrood Group Backdraft-Lexus) in fifth place overall and second in class E. They will be joined by their famous Dad, Ben once more and hope to repeat their best finish of the year, a third place in round three.

Team Qhubani’s Fikile Holomisa and Baphumze Rubuluza are enjoying a competitive season to date with a solid fourth overall their best result so far. The Backdraft-Lexus pair have finished every race in the points to hold sixth in the overall standings.

Mike McLoughlin and Steve Clark will debut a brand new Backdraft Slingshot. Weighing just 850kg, it pumps out 650bhp from a 7-litre Chevy motor and features a Mustang differential and a six-speed sequential gearbox. How will it go? Fast is the most likely answer!

Another Backdraft entry likely to shake things up in Class E is piloted by six-times Mobil V8 Champion Mackie Adlem and Rudi Barnard. It will be interesting to see how both drivers adapt from sprint to endurance racing, but they will be quick.

Team Pesty Racing – name after a pet ostrich that lived on a game farm in Tolwe – sees the father and son pair of Harm and Barend Pretorius out to improve on their eighth place in the rankings. They have a best finish of fourth overall and could repeat that result.

A pair of newcomers to the Backdraft class is Toyota Vice President Anand Pather and Mario De Sousa who will face a baptism of fire. De Sousa is a former production car racer and recently had a guest outing in the Yaris GR Cup at Aldo Scribante while Pather had a Yaris Cup outing at Zwartkops earlier this year.

Class D is a battle of the Volkswagens; David and Roberto Franco and Danie van Niekerk only competed once this year but took a sixth place overall in their Graphix Supply World Polo GTi at Aldo Scribante in May. They will face a refurbished GTC2-specification Creative Ink-supported Golf 7 driven by Mohamed Dangor and Kishoor Pitamber. The pair had a torrid outing in East London and will be looking to put that right this time around.

Track action sees five official practice sessions on Friday ahead of qualifying at 16h00. The endurance field has a final chance to tweak their machinery on Saturday during a 40-minute warm-up session at 10h50.

The Six-Hour race gets underway at 16h00 and with sunset at 18h20, the teams will have to contend with just under four hours of night racing.

In the build up to the race DJ Zain SA will entertain fans from 15h00 to 19h00 before Jesse Clegg takes to the stage from 19h00 to 20h00. DJ Zain SA is back for another hour from 20h00 before GoodLuck takes the music show to the end of the race in a one hour gig starting at 21h00.

Tickets are available at https://saeseries.com/shop starting at R50 for Friday’s action with various packages – starting at R100 – available for Saturday’s jam-packed day of racing and music, food, drink and kiddies jumping castle village.

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