BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series

Meier holds BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series points lead at packed Kyalami

BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series

BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series points leader Andreas Meier retained his advantage this past weekend (11-13 April) in the third round of the championship, which formed part of a record-setting Extreme Festival double-header at the iconic Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit.

Paulo Loureiro headed up Saturday’s Race 1 Class A grid after setting the fastest time in a near-dark and severely shortened qualifying session. He was joined on the front row by Ryan Naicker, who moved into the class after acquiring a new BMW E92 M3 Turbo. Bob Neill marked his return to the series with third place, while Rick Loureiro completed the second row. Both the latter drivers had their cars rebuilt in the past few months. These were the only drivers to record two flying laps, with Fabio Fedetto rounding out the Class A field.

Fabio Fedetto

Carlo Garbini headed up Class B from double series Champion Meier. Nek Makris and Oz Biagioni lined up third and fourth, with series debutant JP Nortje in fifth place. The shortening of the session was due to an incident involving the other Class B competitor, Jaco Storm, with his weekend brought to a halt.

Gary Martins launched his Class C lead defence from pole position, with Devin Robertson for company. Former leader Rob Gearing qualified third, ahead of Varish Ganpath and Nishal Singh.

Class D points leader Nicholas Herbst, and George Economides, headed up Arri van Heerden. Claudio Jardim set the fourth-fastest time ahead of Cobus Bohmer.

Carlo Garbini

Tihan van Rooyen continued his impressive form and took the Class E pole position ahead of points leader Zaheer Seedat. Eddie Rodrigues qualified third, with Gqeberha’s Marais Ellis joining him on the second row after mechanical issues limited his practice time. Matthew Wadeley completed the top five.

For the first time since the 2023 fourth round, all five classes competed together on the track in Saturday’s six-lap first race. Paulo Loureiro held the early race lead until mechanical issues forced him into retirement. Naicker lost a place to Neill off the line, but he, too, retired, while Rick Loureiro was a non-starter. Meanwhile, Fedetto dropped into the Class B pack, leaving Neill to record his second win in the series, despite his car not running entirely to his liking.

Gary Martins

Garbini held onto his lead to beat Meier and take his first Class B victory of 2024. Nortje took a podium on debut, while Makris and Biagioni retired.

Martins, too, held onto his lead to record his second Class C win. Robertson finished second, while Jan Eversteyn made up several places to finish on the podium. Two of those included Gearing and Singh, who completed the top five.

Jardim was another driver in a passing mood and took his second-consecutive win in Class D on his first visit to the circuit. Nicholas Herbst beat father Craig Herbst, to the runner-up spot. Economides finished fourth ahead of Bohmer.

Nicholas Herbst

Ellis celebrated his first start in the series since 2020’s season opener by taking the Class E win, following a good tussle with Van Rooyen. Wadeley closely pursued them, while Rodrigues and Johan Miller completed the top five.

The second race started with the sun beginning to set, but finished behind the safety car after various good early tussles. This was caused by an incident involving Class D’s Stefano Cavalieri on the exit of the penultimate corner.

Again, Neill took the Class A honours from Fedetto. Garbini also made it a double win for the day, with Makris in second place and Meier in third, while Biagioni and Nortje completed the top five, the latter having crossed the line in third place before receiving a 30-second penalty for jumping the start. Singh took his maiden win in Class C, ahead of Martins and Gearing. Eversteyn and Andre Vuuren completed the top five. This time, Craig Herbst showed Nicholas Herbst the way while Shaun Dodd completed the podium. Jardim and Van Heerden completed the podium. Ellis led Wadeley, Johan Miller, Seedat, and Zeyad Ismail over the line.

Zaheer Seedat

Neill took the overall win in Class A with 20 points, from Fedetto with 16. However, with defending series Champion Leon Loubser missing Round 3, Fedetto now moves into the lead of Class A on the points table. Loubser is second, with Neill in third. Neill and Paulo Loureiro shared the points for the fastest laps.

Garbini won Class B with his full house of race day points from Meier and Makris. However, Meier retained the class lead. Garbini and Meier each took a point for setting the fastest laps.

Martins beat Singh and Eversteyn on the day in Class C. Martins extended his advantage on the points table, with Gearing now second and Bennie Luyt third. Martins and Singh each took a point for the respective fastest laps.

It was a Herbst one-two with Nicholas and Craig both scoring 16 points, but Nicholas took the win on the day with his superior accumulated race time. Jardim completed the podium. Nicholas Herbst retains the lead in the class, with him and second-placed Jardim taking points for the fastest laps. Bohmer retained third place.

It was also a full house of points for Ellis in Class E, who also took the ITOO Driver of the Day award. Wadeley and Johan Miller completed the podium. Seedat retained the lead on the points table from Miller and Rodrigues. Ellis and Van Rooyen each took the fastest lap points.

Meier’s lead overall has been gradually eaten into, with Nicholas Herbst now only eight points behind. Martins moved into the top three, four points adrift of Herbst and two and five clear of Makris and Seedat, respectively.

The fourth round of the 2024 BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series will take place at Red Star Raceway outside Delmas on 10-11 May. This will be around the clockwise circuit orientation.

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