Coldish Phakisa thrills the crowd

P hakisa Freeway in the chilly Free State hosted the second round of the Hankook Formula Vee National Championship on Saturday 8 June 2019.06.18

After the excitement of Killarney, Phakisa played host to a similarly intriguing battles. The formula boasted 17 entries which was significantly up on previous years.

During qualifying, it was championship leader Jaco Schriks (Cubed Coatings Rhema 2) who took pole position with a laptime equalling an average speed of 139km/h around the 4,14km track. Lendl Jansen

(Bull Security Forza) grabbed second while third and fourth went to Lushen Ramchander (TRA / D&B Industrial Forza) and Gert van den Berg (Hankook Rhema 2). Behind them, Symm Grobler (Rhema 2) and Peter Hills (Lube Fushion Rhema 2) slotted into fifth and sixth. There were various newcomers on the grid with some on the grid for the first time and some going to Phakisa for the first time. These included 2019 rookies MD Bester (Mangaza Consulting Sting), Ashley Padyachee (Catalyst Technology Solutions Sting) and Jeandre Le Roux (Liqui Moly Lantis). Of these, Bester was on Killarney and had decent pace after hitting the wall in the first practise. This time around went much better for him. Padyachee and Le Roux were on track for their first time. Both struggled with car issues and unfortunately after the qualifying, Le Roux had to withdraw due to overheating issues. Over the weekend, Padyachee improved as his car issued were resolved in stepwise fashion.

Race 1 saw a typical Formula Vee race with Schriks, Ramchander, Jansen and Vd Berg pulling away from Peter Hills and Brandon Hills (Mangaza Consulting Rhema 1.5) a little. On the start line there was drama as it seemed Ramchander jumped the start, but it was not noted and he luckily formed part of a four way battle. The four car battle raged until 2 laps to go when Jansen ran out of fuel due to a calculation error. Up to this stage, Jansen looked poised to upset the applecart and was racing very well within the group. Positions changed constantly with the climax being when Ramchander, Schiks and Jansen entered the sweep after the back straight side by side. Jansen was the bravest and passed the other two on the outside with Vd Berg holding the fort in fourth, waiting for something to happen. But as usual, the guys raced with utmost respect for each other and while wheels were in close company, the racing was incident free! Behind them Peter Hills passed Brandon and maintained the watching eye on the frontrunners till the end. This became fourth once Jansen grinded to a halt. Behind them there was a good battle between Shaun van der Linde (Truck City Boksburg / Len Schoen Estates Rhema 2) and Theodore Vermaak (DOE Quality Parts Vision), with Roy Douglas (Forza) and MD Bester having an awesome race for the lower positions. This was exciting to watch as the newcomers held nothing back in their race and ensured good spectating all the way through the field. In the end, Schriks took he win from Ramchander, Vd Berg, Peter Hills and Brandon Hills. Behind them Richard Carr (Lucky Star Rhema 2) just passed Symm Grobler and Vermaak beat Van der Linde. Douglas was the winner of the battle with Bester with Dave Austin (DA Racing Rhema 2) grabbing the last point after Ben Pienaar (DOE Quality Parts Rhema 2) suffered terminal engine failure while running in the battle with Van der Linde and Vermaak