Hankook Formula Vee Championship leader Jaco Schriks (Lube Station Rhema 2) expected a battle and that was what Redstar Raceway delivered on 20 July 2019.
During qualifying, it was Gert van den Berg (Hankook Rhema 2) who set the pace and lived up to Schriks’s expectation. He was on pole for both heats and with that grabbed a bonus point. Lushen Ramchander (TRA / D&B Industrial Forza) grabbed second for heat one and third for heat two. Lendl Jansen (Bull Security Forza) slotted into third and second for the two races. Schriks who struggled with persisting brake issues on Friday, had to jump into Alan Holms ex-championship winning car for qualifying. Luckily the car was race ready, as was proven during the previous event, when Schriks also used it. At Redstar though it was only good enough for two fourth place starts. Behind them Brandon Hills (Mangaza Consulting / Just Water Rhema 1.5) and Richard Carr (Rhema 2) swapped starting positions for heat one and two. Michael Kernick (Northern Bolt & Tool / Tack så mycket Tasmin) lined up in seventh for both races with Peter Hills (Lube Fusion Rhema 2) in eighth for both heats. Vaughn Hills (Hankook Sting) and Jannie Geyser (Rhema 2) rounded out the top ten. The Liqui Moly guys was out in full force with the two new cars and consistently showed improvements.
At the start of race 1 Van den Berg had clutch issues on the grid. As the lights went out he was slow off the line and dropped behind Ramchander. Schriks passed Jansen into turn one and was now chasing after Van den Berg. At the end of the back straight, Van den Berg got past Ramchander and Schriks followed a lap later. In the process Ramchander spun and dropped down the field. Schriks could not hold onto the pace Van den Berg was setting and in the end Van den Berg won by a comfortable margin. Behind him, Ramchander had a torrid race and while recovering from the first spin, spun again to finish in eighth. Jansen rounded
out the podium ahead of Carr and Peter Hills who had a hard dice on his least favourite track (something to do with lots of turns). Brandon Hills had a great race, only to drop down the field due to loss of brakes in the last laps. Kernick finished in seventh with Ramchander behind him. Geyser beat out Vaughn Hills by 0,099s with Theodore Vermaak (DOE Quality Parts Vision) and Roy Douglas (Forza) rounding out the points. Behind them the brand new Liqui Moly Lantis’s completed the race successfully with MD Bester (Magaza Consulting Sting) in between them.
Race two was a much closer affair. Van den Berg again won the race, but this time Schriks made him work for it. He tried everything to try and close the 1s gap. In the end, the winning margin was only 0,738s. The pressure from Schriks did not yield a mistake from van den Berg and he went on to set a new lap record in the process. Behind them Ramchander held onto a lonely third with Carr beating out Jansen for fourth by only 0,001s with Peter Hills in close pursuit. Kernick had a lonely race after being held up initially, but finished in a solid seventh after the troubles of previous races was hiding his true potential. Vaughn Hills beat out brother Brandon when he had continued brake problems with Geyser, Vermaak and Douglas rounding out the points positions. The newcomers, Jeandre le Roux (Liqui Moly Lantis) and Bester has a race long battle, even though it was for thirteenth. Robbie Thompson in the second Liqui Moly Lantis finished the race and all of them improved their lap times significantly during the races.
The day delivered good racing on a tight and twisty track with Van den Berg taking the bonus point for fastest lap and in the process setting a new lap record of 2min04,431s around the Redstar Raceway.
In the Championship, Schriks lead was cut to 13 points over Van den Berg with Ramchander losing out on valuable points after the race one problems.
The championship is now gathering momentum and with the battle at the front heating up. Will Schriks be able to hang onto his lead at the next race, or will Van den Berg maintain the momentum at Schriks’s home track?
Hankook Formula Vee racing returns to Zwartkops for the Extreme Festival on 17 August. Join us for more spectacular action at Zwartkops.