By: Colin Windell
Oslo Beach - With spectators permitted for the first time since lockdown, the weather retaliated by turning cold and windy for the seventh round of the KZN Road Racing Club Championships at Dezzi Raceway, Oslo Beach at the weekend – but this did not deter hot action on the track.
Bundled up to ward off the chill, enthusiastic spectators roared their appreciation as Blaze Baker tried to fight back from an uncharacteristic off-track excursion in the Formula Extreme category and Cristiano Morgado put his VW Polo Cup car through its paces.
A glitch with the timing equipment meant the race day had to revert to ‘old school’ with results and the like reverting to pen and paper!
For Baker aboard the Optimech Kawasaki it was business as usual in the 300 Class where he stormed to victory for the day ahead of Drew Gates and Lee Singh while the honours in the 300 Masters Class went to Peter St John Ward with the 300 Veterans category falling to Kyle Robertson ahead of Arthur St John Ward.
Llewelyn Puren won the Powersports category, racing home ahead of Arthur Moller.
However, it was in the Formula Extreme class that Baker truly shone. Riding the same 300 Class motorcycle against those with twice the cubic capacity he managed to finish third overall for the day. It was the second heat that saw him go off track at the first corner and drop to last, well behind the field.
He then set about hauling in the field and picked off riders one by one to move up into third place. This takes away nothing from the polished performance of Liaan Smit at the front of the field who was having a pretty torrid time under attack from Sanjiv Singh, having his first track outing after an injury earlier in the year.
At the end Baker had to settle for third overall for the day behind Singh and Smit.
The four-wheel action was just as brisk with a highlight the duel between Morgano and JP Bredenhann in the Chevron – Morgado using the race day to get some seat time in the Polo Cup car and running in Super GT category, winning overall for the day from Bredenhann and Peter Blofield.
Elton Fuchs (VW Golf) won the Super Modified category from Shaun Tilley (Toyota Corolla) despite the latter having a spin early in the second heat that resulted in the race being red-flagged after he was hit by the Opel of Greg Bennett.
At the restart it was back to business with the large field of cars jostling for overall and class places. Ronald van Rensburg emerged victorious in Class A, followed by Hank Lombard and Pierre Potgieter. In Class B the honours went to Gary Commins ahead of Richard van Heerde and Rosh Sooful.
In Class C the husband and wife pairing of Jannie and Charmaine Petzer made it a one-two ahead of first-time racer, Mark Jewitt.
As always, the Retro class provided plenty of eye-candy with their immaculately prepared older cars with Manfred Schroder (BMW) also overcoming a minor off-track moment taking overall honours ahead of Meredith Willis (Ford Escort) and Quentin Willis (Ford Escort).
The race for Motard motorcycles was its usual hectic affair but at the end of the day it was Aston Nesbitt on the top step of the podium ahead of Taigh Janse van Rensburg and Hunter Dreyer. In the Motards Masters class Juston Mathie came out on top from Brett Sharp and Adrian Jansen Ter Laeck.
No less frenetic is the 150 class with honours in the Super Production sub-class going to Zane Davidson from Llewelyn Puren and Peter St John Ward. The 150 segment went to Lee Singh from Felix Kroeber and Tai Robinson, while the 150 Masters went the way of Garry Robinson from Arthur Moller and Sven Christianson.
Assuming no changes to Covid regulations, the next race on November 20 will also feature a round of the South African Superbike series.