Consistency paid off for Willie Erasmus as he took the overall win in Round 2 of the 2019 Liqui Moly South Africa INEX Legends championship held at Red Star Raceway. Celebrations on Saturday, February 16 were however subdued due to other events that, due to the tragic nature of it, overshadowed any on-track performance at the circuit just outside Delmas.
Saturday morning greeted the competitors with varying weather conditions and of course the draw for the grid to start the day. Charl Roux drew the important “Number 1” ball with Richard van Heerde lining up next to him. Jagger Robertson drew P3 and started the day in a spare car after he experienced technical problems with his regular car during Friday morning. His father, Justin Robertson lined up diagonally behind him in P4. Johann van der Venter’s track time on Friday was limited to only the morning session due to business commitments, but immediately found himself at an early advantage in fifth position. Sixth place went to Gerhard Roux; the man who set the fastest time during Friday’s final practice session. Willie Erasmus drew just outside the top six in seventh place while championship leader Jason Loosemore had his work cut for him; drawing P12 on the grid but also in good form with solid pace throughout Friday.
Saturday morning’s first heat saw Jagger Robertson moving into an early lead with Erasmus slicing his way through to second place in the running order. Charl Roux kept himself in contention with the leading duo. Robertson sustained pressure from Erasmus to maintain his lead in tricky and damp conditions following rain earlier in the morning. The final lap saw Erasmus making a mistake under braking and relinquishing positions. This eased the pressure on Robertson who went on to take his second race win ahead of Roux. Mirroring the podium from the final race of Round 1, Loosemore took third place ahead of Erasmus. Justin Robertson took fifth place while Richard van Heerde rounded out the top six.
The day’s second race saw the field starting from an inverted grid from the morning’s draw. While Ian Upton had the upper hand of pole position here, this would also have played well into the hands of Loosemore, but drama struck with his car not being able to start as the field made their way to the grid; effectively eliminating him from race. Upton had an early lead, but soon found himself passed by Sean Moore. This time round it was however Justin Robertson who quietly sliced his way through the field and with two laps to go he took the lead which he held onto for an eventual win. Not that he had an easy time of it, Erasmus finished in a close second place; keeping Robertson honest right to the end. Gerhard Roux took the final podium position ahead of Charl Roux. Jagger Robertson finished in fifth place with midpoint leader Moore rounding out the top six.
The day’s final race saw the day’s point log inverted for the grid. Loosemore’s DNF from Race 2 worked in his favour here as he lined up in P2 from where he rapidly made his way past Morne du Toit to build up a significant lead and take an unchallenged victory. Behind him, there was a fierce tussle developing with Moore taking an early second place. Erasmus and GerhardRoux exchanged third and fourth places throughout the middle part of the race, but with three laps to go Erasmus made his way pat Moore to hold on to finish in second place. In the meantime, Moore had to contend with Justin Robertson who again strategically picked off positions throughout the race; the duo providing an exciting race for the last podium position at the end with Moore taking third place. Charl Roux also steadily made his way through the field; taking fifth place from Gerhard Roux on the final lap.
The major talking point for the day was however an incident which took place during another race where videographer Nic Louw tragically lost his life. The INEX Legends South Africa category management and competitors would like to express their condolences to the Louw family.
INEX Legends Racing South Africa would like to thank the following partners for making the 2019 season possible: LIQUI MOLY, AutoZone South Africa, Big Boss Auto, Rubro and Global Roofing Solutions.
Round 3 of the 2019 Liqui Moly INEX Legends championship will take place at Midvaal Raceway on the weekend of March 22-23.