Mobil 1 V8 Supercars

Defending Mobil 1 V8 Supercars Champion Fameliaris takes overall win at Zwartkops season opener

The 2024 Mobil 1 V8 Supercars season opener at Zwartkops Raceway

2023 Mobil 1 V8 Supercars Champion Julian Fameliaris powered his Lube-Net / Di Matteo Racing Chevrolet Corvette to second place in the opening race of the 2024 season held at Zwartkops Raceway on 2 March. He followed this up with a hard-fought win in the second heat to take the overall victory for the day. Auke Compaan (Hurricane Motorsport Ford Mustang) had two relatively easy wins in the GT2 class.

In Friday’s practice sessions, Warren Lombard (PepBoys Automotive Ford Mustang) topped the time sheets in all three outings. In the combined standings, Terry Wilford (Fuchs Lubricants Ford Mustang) was next quickest, with Fameliaris just a fraction of a second slower. Consistent time from Thomas Reib (Mobil 1 / Café 9 Automotive Chevrolet Lumina) gave him fourth place on the day ahead of Sam Dahl (ArcProtech Ford Falcon), who rounded out the GT1 class.

Julian Fameliaris started his title defence with a race and overall win

Although Campaan only made it out for the final session of the day, his time was good enough to put him in second place in the GT2 standings, just behind Shaun Holtzhauzen (959 Panelbeaters & Spraypainters Ford Falcon). Defending GT2 champion Steve Herbst (Prei Instrumentation / PPG Coatings / QI Systems Chevrolet Corvette) had to settle for third.

Relatively cool conditions for Saturday morning’s qualifying session saw most of the GT1 field go quicker than Lombard’s fastest time on Friday, with Reib leading the way to take pole position. He was almost two-tenths of a second faster than Lombard, with Fameliaris just two-hundredths of a second further back in third. Wilford and Dahl rounded out the GT1 grid. Campaan was the quickest of the GT2 brigade, taking pole position from Holtzhauzen and Herbst.

Thomas Reib won the first race of 2024

There was drama early on in the first race. Holtzhauzen and Herbst made contact in the second corner of the opening lap, and while the damage looked largely cosmetic, that wasn’t the case. As Herbst came into Turn 1 at the start of the second lap, the steering arm that had been damaged in the collision a lap earlier broke, and Herbst was a passenger as his Corvette speared off the circuit and into the tyre barrier on the outside of the corner. Luckily, Herbst wasn’t hurt, but the race officials had to bring out the red flag to allow the marshals to retrieve his car.

Reib took the lead at the re-start and had no trouble controlling things from the front to take a well-earned win. The trio behind him, however, put on a great show, with Lombard leading the way from Fameliaris and Wilford until one of Wilford’s brake ducts broke, forcing him to slow just enough to drop off to the back of the fight. This left Lombard and Fameliaris to fight it out for the runners-up spot. The defending champion got through with a couple of laps left to run, but Reib was too far up the road, and Fameliaris had to settle for second. Lombard held on to third ahead of Wilford and Dahl. In the GT2 class, Campaan had an untroubled run to victory ahead of Holtzhauzen.

Auke Compaan won both GT2 races

The partially inverted grid for the second race had Wilford on pole with Lombard alongside him. Fameliaris and Rieb shared the second row. The leading quartet soon opened a gap on the rest of the pack, with Wilford holding off Lombard, Fameliaris and Reib. That’s how it stayed until shortly before half-distance when Fameliaris got past Lombard. Half a lap later, Lombard ran wide at the exit of turn four, and Reib wasted no time in taking third place.

Fameliaris began putting pressure on Wilford and moved into the lead just a lap-and-a-half after taking second place. Unfortunately for Wilford, ignition failure on his Mustang left him stranded on the side of the circuit just a couple of corners later. This allowed Reib and Lombard through into second and third, respectively, which is how it stayed until the finish. Dahl finished in a somewhat lonely fourth place.

Shaun Holtzhauzen made his debut

Holtzhauzen held off Campaan in the GT2 class until mechanical problems sidelined him, allowing Campaan to take his second win of the day.

In the day’s overall standings, Fameliaris claimed the GT1 win from Reib and Lombard. GT2 went to Campaan with Holtzhauzen in second.

African Group Lubricants’ guests enjoying the day’s racing

Nicole Jooste, African Group Lubricants’ Marketing Manager, enjoyed the opening contest of the new season. “The new Mobil 1 V8 Supercars season got off to an action-packed start, witnessed first-hand by a host of African Group Lubricants’ key personnel and valued clients. We could not have asked for a better way to showcase our products than in the high-pressure and hot conditions experienced at Zwartkops Raceway today. Congratulations to all the drivers for putting on a spectacular show.”

The Mobil 1 V8 Supercars next head to Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit for the second round of their 2024 championship, which takes place from 11 to 13 April.

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