Mobil 1 V8 Supercars

Adlem claims his sixth Mobil 1 V8 Supercars crown

A win in the opening heat, followed up with a fourth place in the second race, was enough to give Julian Fameliaris (#20 Lube-Net Chevrolet Corvette) overall victory at the penultimate round of the 2022 Mobil 1 V8 Supercars championship, held at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 15 October. Although Fameliaris won the battle on the day, it was Mackie Adlem (#1 Adlem Auto Racing Jaguar XKR) who left the Pretoria circuit with his sixth Mobil 1 V8 Supercars title in the bag.

Julian Fameliaris leads Mackie Adlem and the rest of the chasing pack.
Julian Fameliaris leads Mackie Adlem and the rest of the chasing pack.
Image by Raymond Cornwell

Franco di Matteo (#3 Laude Jaguar XKR) topped the time sheets in Friday’s practice sessions, ahead of Adlem, Terry Wilford (#21 Fuchs Lubricants Ford Mustang) and Fameliaris, the quartet separated by less than half a second. In the qualifying session on Saturday morning, it was Fameliaris who emerged on top, just getting the better of Adlem to claim pole position for the first race. Thomas Reib (#9 Mobil 1 / CafĂ© 9 Automotive Chevrolet Lumina) and Sam Dahl (#98 Arcprotech Ford Falcon) filled the second row, the Finn having his best qualifying performance in his Mobil 1 V8 Supercars career. Warren Lombard (#6 PepBoys Automotive Ford Falcon) and Wilford were next up ahead of David Coetzee (#53 ELKSA Competition / Adlem Auto Ford Falcon) and Antonie Marx (#10 Reman Africa Chevrolet Corvette), who was having his first outing since April. Steve Herbst (#7 PPG Coatings / Prei Instrumentation / QI Systems Chevrolet Corvette) ended the session in ninth and lined up alongside Di Matteo, who could not set a time due to mechanical issues.

In the opening heat, Fameliaris immediately opened a gap at the head of the field while Adlem and Reib battled for second place. Further back, Dahl ran wide at the final corner of the opening lap and shot across the track in a cloud of dust. Somehow he kept his car out of the Zwartkops pit wall but dropped almost to the back of the field. Once the dust had settled, it was Lombard in fourth ahead of Marx, Wilford and Di Matteo, who had made a great start from the back of the grid. A lap later, he got past Wilford and, a few corners after that eased up the inside of Marx to move into fifth place. Meanwhile, the top four had spread out with a couple of seconds between them. Another spin for Dahl, this time on the exit of turn six, dropped him to the back of the pack after he spent a while getting his Falcon pointing the right way. Di Matteo was the fastest man on the circuit at that stage and slowly closed the gap to Lombard, taking fourth place just after half-distance. Marx and Wilford had a great battle for sixth, with Wilford eventually finding a way through. Marx was then passed by Coetzee to drop down to eighth with just a couple of laps left to run. At the front, Fameliaris took a comfortable win from Adlem, with Reib in third. Di Matteo had to settle for fourth ahead of Lombard and Wilford, who was just a car length ahead of Coetzee at the flag. Marx and Dahl rounded out the official finishers.

Mackie Adlem leads
Mackie Adlem had to settle for second in the second heat
Image by Raymond Cornwell

Race two started from a partially inverted grid which saw Wilford in pole position alongside Dahl with Lombard and Reib behind them. Newly-crowned champion, Adlem, started from fifth ahead of Di Matteo, with the first-race winner, Fameliaris, in seventh. When the lights went out, Wilford immediately opened a gap while the rest of the field struggled to find a way past Dahl. Early contact between Adlem and Reib while jostling for position brought Reib ‘s race to an early finish. The collision left a gap between the top three, Wilford Dahl and Lombard, and the rest of the pack led by Adlem, but it only took a couple of laps before Adlem was on Lombard’s tail and soon found a way through into third. Di Matteo and Fameliaris soon followed suit, and suddenly Lombard was down in sixth. Shortly after that, Dahl suffered the same fate as Adlem, di Matteo and Fameliaris demoted him to fifth. Lombard then suffered brake failure at the top of the hill approaching turn five and slammed into the safety barrier. While Lombard was uninjured, his car burst into flames, causing the safety car to be deployed while the marshalls extinguished the blaze. Unfortunately, the laps ran out before the Falcon was cleared away, and the race finished under the safety car, with Wilford taking the win from Adlem and di Matteo. Fameliaris ended fourth ahead of Dahl, Coetzee and Herbst. Marx was the last classified finisher in eighth.

Familiaris ended the day with the overall victory, just ahead of Adlem, with Di Matteo joining them on the podium.

Nicole Jooste, Marketing Manager for African Group Lubricants, congratulates Adlem on his title while highlighting the day’s races. “Six consecutive titles solidify Mackie’s reputation as one of South Africa’s best drivers. Congratulations to Mackie and the entire Adlem Auto Racing team. We look forward to seeing the rest of the championship positions pan out in the upcoming season finale. The Mobil 1 V8 Supercars drivers and teams have all really done African Group Lubricants and Mobil proud. The sportsmanship between these fierce on-track rivals was also notable when post-race celebrations did not commence before those fellow competitors involved in the incidents were all back in the pits. We are indeed happy that no one sustained any serious injuries.”

On the weekend and in response to the rumours regarding future plans for the series, Mobil 1 V8 Supercars also confirmed its continued commitment to the Extreme Festival tour for the 2023 season.

SAMCAR Chairman Terry Wilford is looking forward to the 2023 season on the Extreme Festival tour. “The tour has grown from strength to strength since its inception with all the major national and Gauteng-regional categories on the line-up. Wherever we go, the events always draw significant crowds. A highlight is certainly the level of cooperation behind the scenes between all categories and the promoter, especially in marketing ROI generation. Having the best people in their fields playing key roles here has created a platform that draws the best competitors and partners. There was never any doubt regarding our commitment to Extreme Festival.”

While Adlem has claimed the 2022 Mobil 1 V8 Supercars championship, the race for the minor placings is still on. The final order will be decided when the drivers return to Zwartkops Raceway on 11 & 12 November for the championship’s final round.

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