The Alfa Trofeo Series made their way to the dusty plains of the Phakisa Freeway in Welkom on Saturday 15 August for the sixth round of the 2015 Championship. Once again the series was joined by the competitors of the Midvaal Historics category, leading to some action packed racing.
Paul Griffin (Sud) must be wondering what he has to do to get his luck to change. Mechanical gremlins struck during qualifying for the third event in a row, but this time it was a blown head gasket that put him out of the running.
Pole man Warren Ewart (GTV) led the charge down through turn one at the start of the first race. Ralph Kernes (Alfetta) slotted into second position with John Hendriks (Sud) and Christopher Tarboton (Berlina) hot on his heels. Jose De Carvalho (155 GTA Twin Spark) had a disastrous start when he retired coming out of turn one with a broken side shaft.
The battle behind the leading pack saw Shane Coetzer (Sud) making good progress in his loan car (after his usual steed was side-lined with a terminal misfire). He was up to fifth position by the end of the first lap with Kyle Viljoen (145), Werner Nortje (Alfetta) and Anthony Theobald (Guilia) in tow. Angelique Griffin (Sud) soldiered on at the back of the field despite a persistent misfire.
Viljoen’s efforts ended prematurely when a broken gear linkage retired him to the pits at the end of the second lap. With Ewart off into the distance the battle for second place was the one to watch with Hendriks being hounded by Kernes through every corner. Kernes efforts faded with three laps to go however when a mysterious fuel surge developed.
When the chequered flag came out it was Ewart who claimed a comfortable victory ahead of Hendriks. Kernes had done enough in the early stages of the race to hold onto third position.
The second race of the day got off to another frantic start. Kernes had a blinder off the line and took the lead around the outside of turn one. This was short lived however when the horsepower advantage of Ewart’s car pulled him into the lead heading into turn three. Hendriks slotted into third position with Tarboton and Coetzer in tow.
Theobald’s race came to a sudden end when the engine of his car let go down the main straight at the start of the second lap. With the leading trio already breaking away at the front, it was left to the rest of the field to make a show of it. Coetzer had grabbed fourth position but was being chased all the way by Tarboton.
To add to the fun, the Datsun of Vos joined the party and made it a three way battle over the next six laps. The trio swopped positions on almost every lap with the proverbial blanket being able to cover them. Kernes saw his second place go out of the window when a suspected blown head gasket saw him drop back with a sudden loss of power on the penultimate lap of the race.
Ewart went on to claim his second victory of the day after another eight laps of hard racing. Hendriks took a comfortable second place with Coetzer crossing the line in an impressive third.
Category A – Warren Ewart
Category B – Shane Coetzer
Category C – Christopher Tarboton
Youth Class – John Hendriks
The seventh round of the championship will be held at the Midvaal Raceway on Saturday 12 September 2015.