SILVIO AND ALDO SCRIBANTE CLINCH SAGT CHAMPIONSHIP 1-2 AT GRANDFATHER’S TRACK
Review: SA GT National Championship Rounds 8,9,10
Aldo Scribante Raceway, Gqeberha, 30 September – 1 October
Silvo Scribante wrapped up the inaugural SAGT National Championship after racing his Cemza Cement Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo to a fourth, a second – both from the back of the grid – and victory in the three races that made up the SAES Spring Motorsport Festival held at the Aldo Scribante Raceway.
Aldo Scribante’s third, fourth and fifth places was enough to clinch the runner-up spot on the championship table. The Scuderia Scribante brothers’ task was made easier by a torrid weekend for their championship rival, Autohaus Angel Racing’s Dayne Angel, who ran out of fuel in race two and was subsequently disqualified in a post-race inspection for being underweight. Angels’ second and third place finishes were not enough to keep the Gqeberha team’s onslaught at bay.
Practice and Qualifying:
The biggest incident during the four practice sessions befell Aldo Scribante (Scribante Concrete Lamborghini Huracan Evo GT3) who suffered a failed clutch. Jason Ibbotson went into the tyre wall at turn six, fortunately causing only cosmetic damage.
Qualifying saw Arnold Neveling take pole in his Pagid/Stradale Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 by 0.158 seconds from Michael Stephen’s Ultimate Outlaws McLaren 650S GT3. Silvio Scribante (Cemza Cement Lamborghini Huracan Evo GT3) was a further 0.24 seconds back in third, but 0.19 seconds ahead of his championship rival Dayne Angel (Autohaus Angel Ferrari 488 GT3)who lined up in fourth spot on the grid.
Aldo Scribante, lacking confidence in his car at his home track, could only put his car in fifth, ahead of the Marcel Angel/Jason Ibbotson Autohaus Angel Ferrari 458 GT3 and the returning Andrew Culbert (Bigfoot Express Mercedes-AMG GT3) who debuted his new car after a two-year absence from racing.
Celso Scribante, sharing his car with SupaCup Masters championship leader Nick Davidson put their Scribante Concrete Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in eighth spot, followed by Mo Mia (MJR Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3) and Sun Moodley (Bigfoot Express Mercedes-AMG GT3).
ARANGIES AND NEVELING TAKE DRAMATIC NIGHT RACE VICTORY
There was drama for the championship leader Silvio Scribante before the start: as he left the pits to go to the grid, he felt the Lamborghini’s clutch slipping. Knowing it was about to fail, he returned to his pit, got out of his car and out of his race suit.
Moments later, he was told to suit up again as he would be driving his Dad’s car – which he had never raced before – and formed up at the back of the grid as a result of changing cars.
As the pace car peeled into the pits Neveling, with the benefit of warmer tyres kept a tight line into turn one to keep Stephen at bay. The Audi emerged ahead of the McLaren followed by Angel’s Ferrari and Aldo Scribante’s Lamborghini. The fight for fifth place between Ibbotson, Culbert, Mia and Moodley was intense, swapping places by the lap as darkness enveloped the track.
Silvio worked his way through the squabbling pack, reaching fifth place but by then the leaders were well up the road and out of reach.
As the race reached the halfway point, Stephen went missing. A wheel had worked loose, pitching the McLaren off the road at over 180km/h through Hanger Sweep; heading backwards towards the tyre wall, he flicked the car around, nosing into the bank with remarkably little damage.
The safety car came out so Neveling headed to the pits but Arangies wasn’t in his racesuit so he had to stay out for another lap. When the safety car released the pack, Angel was just 1½ seconds behind Arangies, so the Vereeniging driver put his head down to open his lead to an eventual 14.7 seconds.
Culbert, making his debut after a two-year absence, had a spin onto the grass and pitted to investigate potential damage, before making his routine pitstop under the safety car which cost him the class lead.
Angel duly banked the second placed points, followed by Aldo and Silvio Scribante; Angel/Ibbotson took Pro-am class honours while Mia claimed the Am class trophy.
HOMETOWN HERO MICHAEL STEPHEN TAKES SPECTACULAR VICTORY
The grid for the second race of the weekend is based on lap times from the first race, so Arangies lined up on pole from Stephen, Angel, Aldo Scribante, Marcel Angel, Mia, Culbert, Moodley, Silvio (starting at the back having changed cars again), and Celso Scribante/Nick Davidson.
Michael Stephen converted his front row grid start into victory but it was anything but an easy win. The Ultimate Outlaws McLaren driver was all over the back of pole-sitter Charl Arangies – carrying 75kg of success ballast – with Dayne Angel’s Ferrari and Aldo Scribante’s Lamborghini in very close attendance.
Silvio Scribante only needed six laps to latch onto the tail of the leading quartet before passing his brother for fourth. As the leading trio’s pitstop strategies played out, Aldo stayed out and took the lead.
At the mid-point of the race under braking for the hairpin, Silvio slid past Stephen into second but it all unravelled half a lap later when Silvio and Arangies clashed going into turn one.
When Aldo pitted, it was a slow stop which gifted the lead to Angel. The Ferrari driver opened up a sizeable advantage over Stephen, who was edging away from the Neveling Audi with Silvio catching them all at a rapid rate.
With two laps remaining, the unthinkable happened. The leading Ferrari rolled to a stop, out of fuel, about 20 meters from the sister Ferrari of Marcel Angel/Jason Ibbotson, who had a commanding two lap lead in the Pro-am class at the time.
With waved yellow flags flying for the stranded Ferraris, and backmarkers being passed, Stephen braked hard and was passed by both Silvio and Neveling. The Cemza Lamborghini duly took the chequered flag first followed by Neveling but both were penalised one place each for overtaking under caution flags, restoring Stephen back into the lead he had before the incident.
Andrew Culbert took the Am class win, a superb result for his first time out in the rumbling Mercedes, beating his teammate Sun Moodley, the Merc pair ending sixth and seventh overall with Mo Mia taking the final step of the class podium.
Celso Scribante/Nick Davidson ended ninth overall after the SupaCup driver spun at the hairpin on the opening lap. Feeling something was amiss with the car he pitted on lap 15 but with nothing untoward found, he was sent on his way.
Angel/Ibbotson were classified tenth and took the Pro-Am class win.
Dayne Angel was disqualified from fifth place following post-race scrutineering which found the previous race’s success ballast was missing and was thus underweight.
SILVIO SCRIBANTE BAGS LAST-GASP VICTORY
Silvio Scribante lined up on pole for the final race of the weekend, ahead of Stephen, Aldo Scribante, Ibbotson, Celso Scribante, Culbert, Mia, Moodley and Dayne Angel, who started last having been excluded from the results of the previous race.
Silvio streaked into an immediate lead followed by Neveling. Aldo passed Stephen barrelling into turn one, only for Stephen to clip Aldo which sent the Lamborghini spinning into the weeds and last place. Angel rocketed into fourth, helped by the melee in unfolding in front of him.
Silvio pitted at half-distance along with Neveling and Stephen, leaving Angel in the lead. He had clear air and no reason to pit so left his compulsory stop until there was 20 minutes remaining. In spite of a quick stop, he emerged in third behind Neveling and Silvio.
With two laps remaining, Arangies came up to lap Celso Scribante approaching Hanger Sweep. The Lambo driver hugged the apex leaving Arangies to decide which way to pass the slower car heading towards the hairpin. He chose left, as did Celso, which left the door open for Silvio to pass the pair of them under hard braking , swooping into the lead which he held to the flag in spite of an angry Arangies trying every trick in the book to re-take the lead.
Arangies ended second ahead of Angel Jr and Stephen in fourth. Michael had to contend with a broken front splitter stay and backed off to the preserve the car and limit the damage as the splitter skidded along the ground under braking. Aldo brought his car home a disappointed fifth followed by the Am class winner Culbert in sixth, Scribante/Davidson and Pro-am winners Marcel Angel/Jason Ibbotson in eighth. The second Angel Ferrari nursed a gearshift problem and made an unscheduled stop early in the race to try and rectify the issue.
Celso spun at the final corner, forcing Moodley to take to the grass in avoidance. Mo Mia and Moodley rounded out the top ten.
The three SAGT rounds was part of the SAES Spring Motorsport Festival, which saw racing cars and rock stars share the limelight with Jesse Clegg, GoodLuck and DJ Zain SA keeping the fans entertained.
The final round of the SAGT National Championship takes place at Killarney Raceway on 9 and 10 December.
Issued by Eric Buijs (Media Manager SAES), firstname.lastname@example.org, +27 82 66 246 10