South African racers on form around the world
South Africa's Jordan Pepper played a key role in securing Bentley’s dominant victory in Saturday’s Blancpain GT Endurance Cup Paul Ricard 1000 in France, where SA drivers delivered impressive performances. Pepper, driving with Briton Steven Kane and Frenchman Jules Gounon, started on pole position but the team had to work hard for the win, while fellow SA drivers Kelvin van der Linde (Audi) ended 8th, David Perel (Ferrari) 16th and Jordan Grogor (Porsche) 21st on his series debut.
Closer to home on two wheels, Pepson Plastics Husqvarna star Kenny Gilbert took a back-to-back SA national Cross Country Moto victory over KTM duo Ross Branch and Louwrens Mahoney at the Gauteng 400 near Brakpan. KTM trio Ian Rall, Gareth Cole and Jarryd Coetzee topped OR2, while another KTM trio Bradley, Cox Haydn, Cole and Stefan Van Deventer (Husqvarna) led OR3, Davin Cocker (KTM) took High School, Juan Van Rooyen (KTM) Senior and Wayne Farmer Masters honours.
Staying with dirt bikes back in Europe, SA hard enduro star Wade Young played a leading role en route to a prized fifth place finish in the mad Erdzbeg Enduro aboard his Sherco, while Travis Teasdale (KTM) took 10th and countrymen Blake Gutzeit (Husqvarna) and Kyle Flanagan (KTM) also impressed. Over at Mugello on the hard stuff, Darren Binder enjoyed a positive run to tenth in the Italian Moto3 GP, while brother Brad struggled to 15th and Steven Odendaal ended 21st in Moto 2.
Across the pond to the Road America Motorcycle USA nationals, SA riders Mathew Scholtz and Cameron Petersen ended fifth and sixth in the opening Superbike race, while in Junior Cup, Dominic Doyle took fifth and Sam Lockhoff went from 16th on the grid to 8th in the opening race on his first visit to that circuit. Meanwhile in Detroit on four wheels, South Africa's Stephen Simpson shared his JDC Miller Cadillac DPi to fourth in the IMSA Motor City round with Swiss Simon Trummer.
Still on four wheels, Peter (Shelby Mustang) and Paige Lindenberg (Fairlaine) and du Toit brothers Jonathan (Chev Nova) and Mark (’58 Chevrolet) represented South Africa in the final round of the International Historics Challenge at Brands Hatch in England. Jono du Toit used the nimbleness of his Nova to great effect to take the day as Paige and Mark swapped places next up after Peter Lindenberg hit trouble on Sunday.