Mobil 1 V8 Supercars

Fameliaris extends his Mobil 1 V8 Supercars lead at Red Star Raceway

Mobil 1 V8 Supercars at Red Star Raceway
  • Mackie Adlem and Julian Fameliaris share the race wins again.
  • Fameliaris builds on his championship lead.
  • Warren Lombard consolidates despite racing in a borrowed car.

Eight weeks after the opening round of their 2023 season, the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars drivers returned to competitive action at Red Star Raceway on 21 & 22 April. Mackie Adlem (Adlem Auto Jaguar XKR) held off Julian Fameliaris (Lube-Net / Di Matteo Racing / GWR Chevrolet Corvette) to take the first race win, but Fameliaris was not to be denied in the second, finishing over five seconds ahead of the chasing pack.

In the first couple of practice sessions on Friday, Franco di Matteo (Deltec Batteries / NHR Mining Jaguar XKR) topped the time sheets, but in the final session, Terry Wilford (Fuchs Lubricants / Schick Ford Mustang) led the way, setting the quickest time of the day in the process. Adlem ended the day with the second-fastest lap, with Di Matteo third.

This trio were at the front in Saturday morning’s qualifying session, but the order was reversed. Di Matteo claimed pole position from Adlem, with Terry Wilford in third. Fameliaris ended the session in fourth place, less than two-hundredths of a second behind Wilford. Thomas Reib (Mobil 1 Café 9 Automotive Chevrolet Lumina) headed the third row of the grid with Warren Lombard, out in a borrowed Ford Falcon after his Pepboys Automotive version suffered a terminal engine problem in Friday’s final session, in sixth place. Steve Herbst  (PPG Coatings / PREI Instrumentation / QI Systems Chevrolet Corvette) and Larry Wilford (Fuchs Lubricants / Schick Ford Falcon) rounded out the top eight.

Di Matteo led the pack away in the opening heat with Adlem and Fameliaris in pursuit. Terry Wilford dropped to the back of the field after he spun just after the start, ending up facing the oncoming traffic on the apex of Turn 3. Wilford’s misfortune promoted Reib to fourth and Lombard to fifth. By the end of the second lap, a clean gap developed between the leading trio and the rest of the chasing pack, with Adlem doing his best to find a way past Di Matteo to take the lead. It took him another lap and a half before he found a way through, with Fameliaris following suit a lap later. Once Adlem and Fameliaris had found their way past Di Matteo, it wasn’t long before the Deltec Batteries / NHR Mining Jaguar driver had to fend off the attentions of Reib, who dived up the inside of Di Matteo and took third at the first corner on the fifth lap. Although Fameliaris was slightly quicker than Adlem, the gap to the front was too big for him to close, and Adlem took the win with the Corvette about a second and a half further back. Reib ended in a slightly lonely third place, with Di Matteo comfortably ahead of Lombard to take fourth. Larry Wilford took sixth ahead of Herbst, while Terry Wilford was forced into retirement around half-distance.

Illness forced Di Matteo to miss the second heat, which was led away by Larry Wilford, who had Reib alongside him on the front row. It was, however, Lombard who came out of the first corner at the front of the pack with Reib in second, Adlem third, and pole man Wilford down to fourth. A recurrence of the steering problems that he experienced on Friday ended Adlem’s race before he had completed a lap. Lombard and Reib opened a gap on the rest of the field, led by Terry Wilford, who was just ahead of Dad Larry. Fameliaris was running in fifth, albeit with some work to do to catch those ahead of him. Another spin by Terry Wilford, this time at the bottom of the circuit, dropped him out of contention and shortly afterwards, Fameliaris found a way past Larry Wilford to take third. A couple of quick laps later, he had joined the battle at the front, where he wasted no time picking off Reib. Less than a lap later, he went past Lombard at the end of the long straight and immediately opened a substantial gap he held until the flag. The beginning of a fuel pressure problem in Lombard’s car slowed him enough to allow Reib through into second, although Lombard was able to hang on to third place at the flag. Larry Wilford crossed the line in fourth ahead of Herbst, while Terry Wilford rounded out the top six after an incident-packed race.

Two good results for Fameliaris have seen him extend his lead at the top of the championship over Reib. Adlem remains in third ahead of Lombard, Di Matteo and Terry Wilford.

African Group Lubricants’ Marketing Manager Nicole Jooste enjoyed the race day at Red Star Raceway. “Our African Group Lubricant’s partnered Mobil 1 V8 Supercars field delivered two excellent races with hard racing throughout the field. There were a few misfortunes for some, but fortunately, we can confirm that Franco (di Matteo) is feeling a lot better. Thank you to everyone involved in the most powerful circuit racing series in South Africa for putting on such a great show.”

The next outing for the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars competitors takes place at Phakisa Freeway, just outside Welkom, on 26 and 27 May 2023. This will be the first time the series will compete at the Free State circuit in two years.

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