BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series

Dramatic BMW races at Kyalami see Dave Rehse emerge as points leader

  • Dave Rehse finished the Round of the 2023 BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series as the points leader.
  • The BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series was the biggest support category at the Kyalami 9-Hour event with a 50-car field.
  • Both races were neutralised due to stoppages and safety cars following accidents
     

Class E competitor Dave Rehse heads up the points table after Round 2 of the 20223 BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series, held in support of the Kyalami 9-Hour this past weekend (23-25 February).

The race series, managed by BMW Car Club Gauteng and partnered by BMW South Africa, made it two years in a row of being the support category for the South African round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge with the largest field. On Friday, 51 participated in the morning’s qualifying session, while 50 lined up on the grid for Race 1.

Rick Loureiro headed up the grid for Race 1 from brother Paulo, both drivers in Class A. Round 1 winner Leon Loubser lined up behind them, ahead of debutant Imaad Modack and Leyton Fourie. In Class B, Lyle Ramsay set the fastest time, with Andreas Meier joining him on the front row. Arrie van der Berg, Nek Makris and Paul Munro completed the top five. Anwar Levy beat rookie Craig Rapp to the front of the Class C field. Troy Cochran, Hein van der Merwe and Allan Hilligenn lined up behind them. Jaco Storm and Bernard de Gouveia broke out of Class D, which saw Andre Diedericks taking the pole position. Nicholas Herbst, Manny Ribeiro, Neil Reynolds and Farhaad Ebrahim lined up as primary contenders. Arri van Heerden beat Rehse, Chris Bohmer Mike Grobler to the front of Class E. Theuns Nel, who last competed in the corresponding event in 2022, lined up in fifth place.

Shaun Dodd set a time in the session but had to withdraw from the weekend due to a medical emergency. The BMW ///M Performance Parts paddock wishes him a speedy recovery.

Race 1 saw the Loureiro brothers jostle for the lead in the early stages, but Rick settled into the position and started to build a gap. However, heading into Crowthorne Corner on Lap 5, Rick’s car suffered a mechanical issue that saw him spear off the circuit and into the barrier. Paulo assumed the lead, albeit behind the safety car, with the race halted after five of eight laps. This meant that the minimum race distance was completed, ensuring a win for Paulo ahead of Loubser, Fourie and Carlo Garbini. Modack and Lorenzo Gualtieri both retired with mechanical issues in the opening laps.

In Class B, Ramsay saw off Van der Berg in the opening laps to take his first win since breaking into the class in May 2022. However, the latter was one of four drivers to receive a 20-second penalty for passing under full-course-yellow conditions. This promoted Meier, Makris, Munro, and Fabio Fedetto ahead of Van der Berg.

Hilligenn and Van der Merwe were involved in a good tussle for the Class C lead. When the race was neutralised, it was Hilligenn who had the position. Levy completed the podium ahead of reigning series champion Nicholas Fischer. Jan Eversteyn completed the top five after Cochran was penalised with 20 seconds for jumping the start.

Manny Ribeiro recorded his first win since last year’s Kyalami 9-Hour weekend, ahead of Nicholas Herbst and Ebrahim. Reinhardt Miller and Matthew Wadeley concluded the top five after Gary Martins picked up a 20-second penalty for passing under a yellow flag.

As the only Driver to have made it three consecutive wins in 2023, Rehse moved into the points lead with his Class E win over Arri van Heerden. Bohmer completed the podium ahead of Grobler and Smith.

Saturday morning saw an early start for Race 2, with the top five positions per class from the first heat inverted. The race was neutralised with a safety car on Lap 2 after an incident that saw Dewit Oosthuizen and Van der Merwe stranded in a precarious position at the bottom of The Mineshaft. At the midway point, the circuit went green again for a four-lap sprint to the finish.

Paulo Loureiro was quick off the line and built a commanding lead over Loubser to make it two wins for the weekend. Garbini held off the young charger Fourie for the final podium spot in Class A.

Ramsay made light work of getting to the front of Class B and made it two wins for the weekend. His performance also earned him the Driver of the Day award. This time, Van der Berg was left to fend off Makris, Meier and Munro.

Anwar Levy took his maiden win from his fourth start in the series, taking the Class C honours from Cochran following a gruelling battle at the front. Storm held off Fischer for the final podium spot, with Eversteyn completing the top five a bit further back.

Ribeiro continued to Conquer Kyalami in Class D, this time with Craig Herbst filling his rear-view mirror to the line. Miller held off Ebrahim and Wadeley for the final podium spot.

Rehse extended his lead by making it four Class E wins from four starts. What made his accolade even more remarkable was that he suffered from dehydration in the sweltering Highveld heat. Van Heeden tailed him over the finish line, with Bohmer and Grobler completing the field.

With the summer portion of the calendar completed, the series next heads to Red Star Raceway outside Delmas for Round 3 on 21-22 April.

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