(The close competitive racing we have become accustomed to from the INEX Legends racers / Photo Credit : RacePics.co.za)
The popular INEX Legends Championship made their way to the Phakisa Freeway in Welkom for the second round of the 2016 racing season on Saturday 2 April. The traditional ball draw for grid positions was sure to make things interesting once again. Morne Stoltz (Pro) drew pole position ahead of Divan Myburgh (Pro). Keagan Wessels (Pro) would start from the second row with Shjaell Nel (Semi-Pro) alongside him. Anro Stadler (Pro) and impressive newcomer Jordan Larsson (Semi-Pro) would start from the third row.
(INEX Legends Championship – Round 2 – Phakisa Freeway)
The first race of the day saw the twenty car field charge through the first corner in what was to be an unforgettable race. Myburgh took the lead ahead of Wessels with Stoltz, Seef Fourie (Pro) and the rest of the field in tow. Series newcomer Larsson slotted into fifth position with young Clinton Bezuidenhout (Young Lion) blasting into sixth from eighteenth position on the grid!
(The decisive move that saw Bezuidenhout claim the lead)
Bezuidenhout was up to third position by the end of the first lap. Justin Robertson (Master) was also on a move as he grabbed fifth position ahead of Stoltz. Bezuidenhout’s impressive charge continued as he took second place from Wessels a lap later. Shaun Nel (Pro) was also having a good race as he was up to seventh position by lap two. The battle out in front intensified as the leaders started edging away from the rest of the field. Bezuidenhout was putting the pressure on Myburgh through every corner keeping the fans on their toes.
A brilliant move on the last lap saw Bezuidenhout make history as he claimed his first Overall victory in the series – and that as a Young Lions competitor as well! Myburgh held on for second place and first in the Pro class, with Fourie taking a hard fought third ahead of Wessels. Fifth placed Larsson took the Semi-Pro win on debut, while eighth placed Robertson took the Masters class honors.
Race 1 Results
- Clinton Bezuidenhout – Best lap: 1:56.640
- Divan Myburgh – Best lap: 1:56.869
- Seef Fourie – Best lap: 1:57.796
- Keagan Wessels – Best lap: 1:58.096
- Jordan Larsson – Best lap: 1:57.782
- Shaun Nel – Best lap: 1:59.025
The second race of the day proved to be even more action packed. Llewellyn Myburgh (Pro) took the lead ahead of Anton Repsold (Master) and Lonika Maartens (Semi-Pro). Bezuidenhout was once again driving like a man possessed as he grabbed fourth position ahead of Steve Nel (Master) and Divan Myburgh.
(Lonika Maartens got her best result for the day in Race 2)
When the field crossed the line for the first time it was Bezuidenhout who led the race ahead of Divan, Maartens and Llewellyn. Fourie had also made a great start as he slotted into fifth position with Repsold and Wessels hot on his heels. Llewellyn saw his hopes of a decent result disappear out the window when he slowed on the second lap. There were no such worries for Divan as he took the lead heading onto the back straight.
Bezuidenhout shadowed the new race leader for the next three laps before he once again seized the opportunity to regain the lead with a great move through the tight hairpin coming off the back sweep. Despite his best efforts Myburgh could just not get back past the talented schoolboy.
Bezuidenhout took his second Overall and Young Lion victory on the trot – with only 0.128 of a second separating him and Pro class winner Myburgh across the line. Fourie was made to work hard for his third position by young Maartens who claimed the Semi-Pro win in the process. Seventh placed Robertson picked up his second Masters class trophy as well.
Race 2 Results
- Clinton Bezuidenhout – Best lap: 1:56.921
- Divan Myburgh – Best lap: 1:57.584
- Seef Fourie – Best lap: 1:57.582
- Lonika Maartens – Best lap: 1:57.971
- Shaun Nel – Best lap: 1:58.399
- Keagan Wessels – Best lap: 1:58.672
As if it was even possible the third and final race of the day provided even more action! A repaired Llewellyn Myburgh took the lead through the first turn with Fred Els (Master), Stoltz and Dawie Fourie (Semi-Pro) ahead of the rest of the field. Llewellyn still led the race after the first lap. Robertson slotted into second place with Els finding his mirrors filled by a determined Wessels. Divan had made his way up to fifth position from the back of the grid with Larsson, Nel and Fourie in tow.
(Myburgh had to work hard to claim the final victory of the day)
Wessels picked up three places when he grabbed the lead a lap later, with Divan up to third position behind his cousin as well. Divan was on a charge once again as he grabbed the lead before the end of the lap. Bezuidenhout had finally made his way past some of the slower cars in the field and was up to sixth position on the same lap. Driving with experience beyond his years the plucky teenager was up to second place before the end of the lap.
Bezuidenhout then grabbed the lead through turn six at the half way point of the race, only to lose it to Myburgh through the fast back sweep a few moments later. The action behind the leaders was just as intense with Fourie grabbing third place ahead of Wessels. Llewellyn had been battling with an unpleasant stomach bug all day and despite his brave efforts it was taking a toll on him. He dropped back to eighth position as Maartens, Larsson and Nel all passed him on the fifth lap. Maartens saw her challenge end when a conrod in her engine decided that it needed to escape the confines of the engine block, ending her race almost immediately.
Bezuidenhout once again took the lead on the sixth lap with Divan remaining glued to his rear bumper. Divan made his move on the penultimate lap of the race when he grabbed the lead through turn four, turning the tables on young Bezuidenhout to claim a narrow Overall victory over the teenage sensation – 0.146 of a second separating them across the line to be exact. Myburgh claimed the triple crown in the Pro class as well with Bezuidenhout doing the same in the Young Lions class. An impressive Larsson had a dream debut by making it two out of three in the Semi-Pro class, while Repsold turned the tables on Robertson to take the Masters victory in the last race of the day.
Race 3 Results
- Divan Myburgh – Best lap: 1:57.921
- Clinton Bezuidenhout – Best lap: 1:57.438
- Seef Fourie – Best lap: 1:58.218
- Keagan Wessels – Best lap: 1:58.129
- Shaun Nel – Best lap: 1:59.068
- Jordan Larsson – Best lap: 1:58.436
Current Top 10 Overall – Championship Points
The next round of the INEX Legends Championship will visit the Midvaal Raceway outside Vereeniging on the 7thof May.
For live updates on race days follow the racing series on Facebook: Facebook.com/InlandChampionship