Round 6 – Midvaal Formula Vee scorcher

On Saturday 14 October, Midvaal hosted the sixth round of the 2017 SA National Formula Vee Championship. The little 1400cc single seaters put on the closest racing of the day and lapped the Midvaal circuit in the fastest lap times of the day at 1min11,445seconds.

The last time the Championship Midvaal was in 2015 and it was raced clockwise. Now it was run anti-clockwise.

Mankonkwana loses control at the head of the field photo by Kevin Jenkins

Mankonkwana loses control at the head of the field photo by Kevin Jenkins

During qualifying, Siyabonga Mankonkwana (Cervinia Investments Rhema 2) was the man to beat. Mankonkwana spent a lot of time testing at this track and it showed as he qualified on pole. Lushen Ramchander (Miami Products and Services Forza) qualified second with reigning champion Gert van den Berg (BP Nantes Motors Rhema 2) third. Ross Rugheimer (Rhema 2) surprised in fourth, Lendl Jansen (Bull Security Rhema 2) fifth in the brand new Forza he bought from Ben Pienaar. Jaco Schriks (Cubed Coatings Rhema 2) and Peter Hills (LubeFusion Rhema 2) struggled and would start some way off the lead.

In race one, Mankonkwana led off the line and was about to make a break, when he spun on his own. This allowed Ramchander and Vd Berg to get away from the chasing pack. Vd Berg passed Ramchander and then Mankonkwana also found his way back. Vd Berg won from Mankonkwana, Ramchander, Hills, Rugheimer, Schriks and Jansen. Brandon Hills (Lubefusion Rhema 1.5) struggled with brake issues again and finished ahead of Ernie Vermaak (D.O.E. Quality Parts Rhema 2), Hans Rugheimer (Rhema 2) and Shane Helberg (Shanberg Racing Forza). Helberg was close to Rugheimer at the start, but was a little over eager and spun early in the race.

Race two saw Vd Berg starting quickly and building a two-second gap while the rest of the field was fighting. Mankonkwana got to the lead of the chasing pack and pulled them towards Vd Berg who struggled with handling issues. Mankonkwana passed Vd Berg and then Schriks fought his way to second. Vd Berg finished third then Ramchander, Ross Rugheimer and Hills. Hills struggled with an underpowered car and could not hold off the attention of Rugheimer.

Shane Helberg Photo by Elroy ViceThe first five cars split by less than three seconds at the end of the race.

Jansen was seventh, followed by Brandon Hills, Vermaak, Hans Rugheimer, Helberg. Brandon Hills jumped the start and was relegated to tenth. Shane Helberg had a good dice with Hans Rugheimer, but Reigheimer beat him to the flag.

The current championship points leave Vd Berg leading with twelve points from Schriks with Mankonkwana and Hills in close pursuit.

The next race will be at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit on 4th November.