BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series

Record-size BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series field to take on Kyalami

A 59-car field will contest the second round of the 2023 BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series this coming weekend (23-25 February) at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit.

While the season opener saw double victories in four of the five time-based classes, there can still be significant changes on the points table in Round 2, especially with some drivers due to make their first appearance for 2023. The longer circuit will also see all five classes combined in both races instead of the now-customary split races for Classes A, B & C and D & E.

Leon Loubser’s two dominant wins see him at the top of Class A, and he will aim to continue setting the pace at the front of the field. Carlo Garbini and Lorenzo Gualtieri, now in Class A, will seek to close the gap between themselves and Loubser. Leyton Fourie, who continues in the series in preparation for his BMW M2 Cup campaign, is eager to improve on his recent second place. While Fourie took a Kyalami victory in his previous support race outing, this will be the first time he will take to the circuit in a rear-wheel drive car. The Loureiro brothers, Paulo and Rick, will also be looking for Kyalami honours. Paulo, in particular, has been a regular at the front of the field in all his prior outings at the circuit.

Andreas Meier heads up Class B, but the reverse-grid second race in Round 1 showed that he is in for some stern challenges from Lyle Ramsay and Nek Makris. Salvi Gualtieri, who was sidelined in Round 1 due to mechanical issues, would also want to join the battle at the front of the field. The likes of Arrie van der Bergh, Oz Biagioni and Mansoor Parker will look to get closer to the podium results. Mish-Al Sing, who dominated Class C in last year’s Kyalami 9 Hour support race, Paul Munro, Uli Sanne, and Nishal Singh will join the field in Round 2. While they know that competition will be fierce, they are eager to record good points-paying positions.

Hein van der Merwe’s superb start to the season sees him heading up the Class C points table, but the midfield group could produce the most unpredictable outcomes at Kyalami. Jan Eversteyn and Troy Cochran will aim to consolidate their positions as challengers for the title. Both Alan Hilligenn and Dewit Oosthuizen took a podium finish in the season opener and are eager to contest for race wins. The battle will also feature the reigning series champion, Nicholas Fischer, who overcame early technical issues at Zwartkops Raceway to finish the season opener in good form after becoming a new addition to the class. Dawie Olivier, who missed the season opener, became a regular at the front of the class in the latter part of 2022 and is set to establish himself as a title contender.

Class D is an equally open contest heading into the weekend. Jaco Storm and Riaan Lubbe shared the wins in Round 1, but while Lubbe holds a slender one-point lead, he will not compete in Round 2. Shaun Dodd, who won in Class E twice on the last visit to Kyalami as part of the BMW M Fest, will look to repeat his success and emerge as the points leader. Andre Diedericks took an impressive second place on debut as eager to step to the top of the podium. Manny Ribeiro dominated the class in last year’s Kyalami 9 Hour support races, while Nicholas Herbst also delivered a solid performance in both the 2022 visits. Gary Martins’ looked impressive on debut, despite two punctures preventing him from taking points. New additions for this weekend will be Bernard de Gouveia, whose car is now fully-prepared, and Lenard Archer, who will make his debut.

Dave Rehse heads up the Class E contingent, with Dewald Smith and Cobus Bohmer eager to record their first wins in the series. Arri van Heerden will also be a force to be reckoned with, and Mike Grobler, who missed the season opener, is eager to join the challenge. Theuns Nel, who last competed at last year’s Kyalami 9 Hour as a substitute for Cochran, is back again, while Craig Rapp will make his debut.

The first of the weekend’s two races will occur on Friday at 13:00, with Race 2 scheduled for 08:25 on Saturday. The event promoter will make online and television broadcast information available closer to the weekend.

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