BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series – Round 08 – Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit – 2022-10-15
The BMW ///M Performance Race Series graced the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit as part of the 50 Jahre BMW M celebrations, and a huge 48 car field delivered two pulsating heats in front of a massive crowd which came to Kyalami to admire all things BMW.
After qualifying on Saturday morning, brothers Paulo and Rick Loureiro occupied the front row by a fair margin in their Class A Combined Racing BMW F30 335i entries. The pair were separated by just 0.017sec. William Einkamerer (BTAS BMW E92 335i) and Leon Loubser (BidWheels BMW E92 335i) were next up. In Class B Lorenzo Gualtieri (SavSpeed/Eataly Foods BMW E36 328i Turbo) had pole just ahead of Andreas Meier (#TrainedAmateurs BMW E36 STC).
In Class C Mish-al Sing took pole but would start in Class B driving Rick Loureiro’s old BMW E30 325is. That left Matthew Wadeley (Rhino Coast Guesthouse BMW E36 M3) in the top spot ahead of Dewit Oosthuizen (Jonnesway Tools, Share Tracking, Spanjaard BMW E92 M3) and Trevor Long (Roof Surgeon/Big Boss Auto BMW E36 M3). Class D had Nicholas Herbst (Greenhouse BMW E90 330i) in pole position ahead of Jaco Storm (Truewood Furniture BMW E46 330i Turbo), the former having broken out but electing to take a penalty, which then relegated him to the back of the class grid. Storm would then lead them away. Neil Pillay (Paradigm Motorsport BMW F80 M3) was also fastest in Class E but made the jump to Class D. That left Zahir Seedat (Salt-Water Marketing BMW E36 328i) ahead of Farhaad Ebrahim (The Car Collector BMW E36 328i) at the head of the class.
Two non-starters were Dawie Olivier (International Race Supplies BMW E30 M3) whose engine blew in Saturday morning’s practice session. This session also saw Craig Herbst (Victron Energy BMW E46 330i) thankfully escape a huge accident that destroyed his card after it rolled and crashed due to some oil at the fearsome Mine Shaft. Everyone relishes Kyalami’s challenge, but it is very unforgiving.
In blazing heat race 1 got under way at 13:00. Rick Loureiro jumped into an immediate lead closely followed by younger brother Paulo. Behind them the huge field sorted itself out with some solid performances unfolding. In Class B Lorenzo Gualtieri initially led with Meier following closely. In Class C Mish-al Sing led the way with Dewit Oosthuizen keeping him in his sights. In Class D Jaco Storm led briefly but retired after just 2 laps. Shane Grobler then took over the lead. In Class E Shaun Dodd (MSW motorsport BMW E36 328i) headed a torrid affair with a slew of newer drivers enjoying their day in the sun and making life difficult for overall championship leader Nicholas Fischer (InsideActive Group BMW E36 328i).
At the front the Loureiro siblings were at it hammer and tongs but after contact between the pair Paulo dropped out with damage in his car while Rick carried on leading the race comfortably. Carlo Garbini (Kimbo Coffee BMW E46 328i Turbo) had worked his way to the front of Class B with Meier in close attendance while Gualtieri dropped out with a blown head gasket.
Then at the halfway stage, Mish-al Sing lost a wheel on his car at Leeuwkop corner and thankfully escaped from a big accident with nothing but a fright and regret after severely damaging his borrowed machine. After a couple of laps behind the safety car, Rick Loureiro reeled off the remainder to win ahead of Leon Loubser and William Einkamerer who had enjoyed a good battle of their own. Garbini won Class B ahead of Meier with Dewit Oosthuizen winning Class C from the evergreens, Trevor Long and Troy Cochran (Arrow Automotive/NGK/ATE BMW E36 M3).
Shane Grobler (Mayfair Gearbox BMW E30 330i) took Class D honours with a delighted Nicholas Herbst finishing runner up after carving his way from the back of the class grid. It was a sign of better things to come in race 2 on Sunday. Shaun Dodd was equally delighted to clinch first position in Class E, with Farhaad Ebrahim and Arri van Heerden (V-Tech BMW E36 M3 Turbo) completing the podium.
Race 1 Results per class
1. Rick Loureiro – 01:49.623
2. Leon Loubser – 01:51.824
3. William Einkamerer – 01:54.203
1. Carlo Garbini – 01:57.717
2. Andreas Meier – 01:58.082
3. Nek Makris – 02:02.167
1. Dewit Oosthuizen – 02:04.803
2. Trevor Long – 02:06.353
3. Troy Cochran – 02:05.348
1. Shane Grobler – 02:09.818
2. Nicholas Herbst – 02:09.107
3. Eugene Gouws – 02:09.933
1. Shaun Dodd – 02:13.961
2. Farhaad Ebrahim – 02:16.477
3. Arri van Heerden – 02:16.297
Fastest Lap: Rick Loureiro – 01:49.623 on Lap 3
Sunday morning’s practice session was led by the older Loureiro with Garbini just ahead of Meier, ready to resume their titanic battle from the day before. Matthew Wadeley posted a very good time for Class C which promoted him to the Class B ranks where he elected to stay going forward. Hein van der Merwe (BMW E36 328i Turbo) was next up, and Nicholas Herbst led the way in Class D. Newcomer Benjamin Luyt (ITA Security (BMW E46 M3) was impressive in posting the fastest time of 02:10.624 in Class E, but the session was mostly a shake down for race 2 which would follow early on a hot afternoon.
A slight delay in proceedings following the sighting of some oil in parts of the circuit after the warm-up lap saw race 2 go off 30 minutes later than scheduled, but no sooner was the 38 strong field unleashed battles resumed across all 5 classes. At the front Paulo Loureiro made the most of his pole position start, by virtue of the inverted by class grid, and was soon pulling away. However older brother Rick was in no mood to let him party by himself and the pair were soon at each other’s throats much like in race 1, albeit with positions reversed. It wasn’t to last however, with Saturday’s winner then forced out with an electrical problem, unfortunately robbing us of what would have been a grandstand finish. Fabio Fedetto (BMW F82 M4) briefly held third spot with Einkamerer and Loubser eager to relieve him of the position.
In Class B Alan Hilligenn led a gaggle in no mood to settle for anything other than victory. Garbini and Jan Eversteyn (African Surprise BMW E46 M3) were bumper to bumper, with Meier keen to get by the latter and chase his championship rival. Nek Makris (BMW E46 335i) was soon in the reckoning as well. Renier Smith (BMW E36 M3) retired from race one with fuel problems but now led Class C with Uli Sanne (BMW E9 3.0 CSL) not far behind. The nature of Kyalami is such that it brings out the racer in everyone and racing they all were, furiously.
In Class D Eugene Gouws (Master Mowers BMW E36 M3 Turbo) had Manny Ribeiro (BMW Car Club Gauteng BMW E46 330i Touring), Herbst and Grobler hot on his heels. Class E was being led by the venerable Mike Grobler (Grobler Motorsport BMW E36/7 Z3) with an unruly mob right behind him, consisting of amongst others race 1 winner Dodd, Dave Rehse (D&K Racing BMW E36 328i) Javelin Ramsamy and Nicholas Fischer.
With Rick Loureiro’s retirement, Paulo reversed Saturday’s result, and Einkamerer and Loubser fought for the runner up spot, but the focus shifted to Class B where Garbini settled in behind Fedetto with Meier looking to get close. Behind them Eversteyn and Makris were also engaged in an engrossing battle. In Class C Renier Smith had put some distance between himself and the chasing pack consisting of Sanne, Oosthuizen, Hein van der Merwe, Long and Cochran.
In Class D Gouws tried but ultimately failed to hold off a charging Herbst. In Class E Dodds was again in control but behind him a sizeable grid, the biggest this year, was delivering great battles across its full spectrum. Rehse and Ebrahim were chasing the first race’s winner, and behind them Mike Grobler was making a fist of it against Fischer and Arri van Heerden. As the laps dwindled, Paulo Loureiro took an easy win ahead of Loubser and Einkamerer. In Class B Garbini took the win ahead of Meier in a repeat of Saturday’s result, the pair having put on a faultless display as they battled each other and deftly handled back markers. Eversteyn was a determined third after a gritty drive and great tussle with Makris.
In Class C Smith took no prisoners to do a full 180⁰ from famine to feast after race one’s retirement. Sanne was an excellent second with Oosthuizen third. In Class D, Herbst completed a fine weekend with a flawless performance to win from Class championship leader Shane Grobler. Dodd scored a brace in Class E, with Farhaad Ebrahim and Dave Rehse next up.
Dodd also won the coveted Driver of the Weekend award for his consistent performance throughout the weekend.
Race 2 Results per class
1. Paulo Loureiro – 01:49.694
2. Leon Loubser – 01:53.297
3. William Einkamerer – 01:55.382
1. Carlo Garbini – 01:58.318
2. Andreas Meier – 01:57.798
3. Jan Eversteyn – 02:01.783
1. Renier Smith – 02:03.061
2. Uli Sanne – 02:04.214
3. Dewit Oosthuizen – 02:04.145
1. Nicholas Herbst – 02:08.311
2. Shane Grobler – 02:08.207
3. Eugene Gouws – 02:10.268
1. Shaun Dodd – 02:12.173
2. Farhaad Ebrahim – 02:12.842
3. Dave Rehse – 02:15.542
Fastest Lap: Rick Loureiro – 01:48.922 on Lap 2
Post racing drivers noggin was attended by BMW SA CEO Peter van Binsbergen and (title and name)?? who thanked the drivers for their contribution to what was the most successful BMW M Fest internationally to date. A mutual feeling as the hugely successful weekend speaks volumes for the commitment of everyone in the BMW Car Club Gauteng. With one round left on November 12 at the popular Zwartkops Raceway many a twist could still be had in the final championship outcomes.
Story by Tony Alves.
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