Mobil 1 V8 Supercars

Adlem and Reib share Mobil 1 V8 Supercars wins

The 2021 Mobil 1 V8 Supercars season got underway in Cape Town
The 2021 Mobil 1 V8 Supercars championship got underway in Cape Town
Image by Reynard Gelderblom

The Mobil 1 V8 Supercar brigade returned to Cape Town’s Killarney International Raceway after a seven-year absence on 19 & 20 March for the opening round of their 2021 championship. Reigning champion Mackie Adlem (#1 Adlem Auto Jaguar XKR) claimed the first heat win after a race-long duel with Terry Wilford (#21 Fuchs Lubricants Ford Falcon) but had to settle for the runners-up spot in the second heat behind Thomas Reib (#9 Mobil 1 / Café 9 Automotive Chevrolet Lumina).

Adlem set the quickest overall time in Friday’s practice sessions and converted that form to pole position on Saturday morning during Qualifying. He did this shortly before retirng from the session with a puncture. He was nearly two-tenths of a second quicker than Wilford with Reib, Franco di Matteo (#3 Deltec Batteries Jaguar XKR) and Warren Lombard (#6 Pepboys Automotive / Pace Car Rentals Ford Falcon); all covered by just over half a second.  Roelf du Plessis (#22 LSP Chevrolet Corvette) completed the third row of the grid with David Coetzee (#53 ELKSA Competition / Adlem Auto Ford Falcon) and Sam Dahl (#98 Ford Falcon) from Finland who made his debut in the series a row further back. Bevan Schwarz (#19 Alco Trucks Chevrolet Corvette) and Andre de Lange (#33 Roofsure Jaguar XKR) rounded out the top ten. Julian Fameliaris (#10 Net-Lube Chevrolet Corvette) struggled with gearbox and clutch issues throughout the weekend and did not set a time while Steve Herbst (#7 PPG Coatings / Prei Instrumentation / Q1 Systems Chevrolet Corvette) had to withdraw from the weekend with a blown motor.

Mackie Adlem and Terry Wilford fought for the win in the opening race
Adlem and Wilford fought for the win in the opening race
Image by Reynard Gelderblom

Despite battling each other for the lead in the opening race, Aldem and Wilford were able to open up a gap ahead of the chasing pack. Wilford tried everything he could to get past the Jaguar in front of him, but Adlem was determined to get his quest for a fifth Mobil 1 V8 Supercars championship title off to the best possible start and held the position to take a narrow win. Behind them, Di Matteo held off Reib to take the final podium position. Lombard had a slightly lonely race to fifth place with Coetzee in sixth. Schwarz and Dahl finished in seventh and eighth respectively while Fameliaris, Du Plessis and De Lange suffered mechanical maladies early on.

The reverse grid start for the second race often throws up some interesting action in the first couple of corners as the quicker cars try to make their way through the pack. This was again the case on Saturday, with the need to get through to the front made even more urgent by the fact that the race distance had been shortened from the scheduled 12 laps to just eight.

A chaotic opening lap ended with pole man Dahl relegated to the back of the field and Reib out front with spinning cars and contact between a couple of competitors in the mid-pack spreading the field. Both Lombard and Wilford had early ends to their effort while Aldem set off after Reib at the front. Adlem closed the gap, setting the fastest lap time of the weekend whilst doing it, but could not find a way past the wily Reib. They were only separated by half a second at the flag, but it was Reib who led them over the line. Di Matteo recovered from the opening mayhem to work his way back up the field into third but was too far back to get himself into contention for the win. Behind him, Coetzee ended in fourth ahead of Schwarz who inherited fifth after de Lange’s Jaguar destroyed its diff and burst into flames on the main straight. Luckily he was able to stop close to the Killarney marshals who soon extinguished the flames, preventing severe damage to the car. Dahl completed the field in sixth.

The Mobil V8 Supercars now head back inland for the next round of their 2021 championship which takes place at Phakisa Freeway, between Welkom and Odendaalsrus in the Free State on 14 & 15 May.

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