Mobil 1 V8 Supercars

Lombard claims his first Mobil 1 V8 Supercars win of the season

Mobil 1 V8 Supercars at Zwartkops Raceway

In the first three rounds of the 2024 Mobil 1 V8 Supercars season, Warren Lombard (PepBoys Automotive Ford Mustang) consistently set the quickest time in the practice sessions, demonstrating his underlying pace. However, he was unable to convert that speed to race wins. This narrative took a thrilling turn at the championship’s fourth round, held at Zwartkops Raceway on 7 & 8 June. Despite Thomas Reib (Mobil 1 / Café 9 Automotive Chevrolet Lumina) being the fastest in Friday’s practice sessions, Lombard’s persistence paid off as he emerged as the overall winner.

Saturday morning was clear but very cold, setting the stage for a fiercely competitive qualifying session. Most of the drivers, eager to gain an edge, elected to run almost the whole session in an attempt to build up some heat in their slick tyres. At the end of the session, Reib emerged on top, with championship leader Julian Fameliaris (Lube-Net / Di Matteo Racing Chevrolet Corvette) alongside him on the front row of the grid. As he has done regularly this season, Lombard set the third-quickest time and lined up alongside Franco di Matteo (NHR Mining / Di Matteo Racing Jaguar XKR). Terry Wilford (Fuchs Lubricants Ford Mustang) was just a fraction behind in fifth, with the five GT class cars separated by less than 0.7 seconds.

Julian Fameliaris

Shaun Holtzhauzen (959 Panelbeaters & Spraypainters Ford Falcon) led the way in the GT2 class ahead of Steve Herbst (Prei Instrumentation / PPG Coatings / QI Systems Chevrolet Corvette), Andrew Katay (Katay Racing / Inspect Motors Chevrolet Corvette) and Auke Compaan (Hurricane Motorsport Ford Mustang). Antonie Marx (Reman Africa Chevrolet Lumina) did not set a time after suffering a clutch failure.

In the opening 10-lap heat, Reib and Fameliaris led the field, slowly opening a gap on the chasing pack that Lombard led. Although Fameliaris looked to have the quicker car, he could only find a way past Reib once there were just a couple of laps left to run. Once he made his move, he was able to pull away and take the win. Reib had to settle for second ahead of Lombard. The battle between Wilford and di Matteo for fourth was decided on the final tour, with di Matteo claiming the honours.

Shaun Holtzhausen

In the GT2 class, Holtzhausen had an untroubled run to victory. Compaan slowly worked his way past Katay and Herbst to finish in second. Marx joined the race four laps down after his crew managed to get a new clutch into his car. While he knew he did not stand any chance of getting anywhere near the lead, he felt that a test of the repairs under racing conditions would be useful before the second heat.

In the reverse-grid second race, Wilford led the field away and looked to have things under control until a sudden fluid leak saw him end up stuck in the gravel trap on the outside of turn five. A couple of laps under the safety car ensued while his Mustang was moved to a safe place. Once racing resumed, Lombard held on to the lead he had inherited and hung on to take his first win of the season despite pressure from di Matteo. Reib was able to keep Fameliaris behind him to take third.

Warren Lombard

The repairs to Marx’s car proved reliable as he worked his way through the pack from the back of the grid to take the GT2 class win. He was followed over the line by Holtzhausen, with Compaan in third. Katay took fourth while Herst watched the final part of the race from the sidelines after suffering a wheel-bearing failure.

Lombard’s second race win was just good enough to give him the overall GT win, calculated on the combined time of the two heats. Fameliaris had to be content with second, just ahead of Reib. Holtzhausen took the overall GT2 honours, with Compaan and Katay joining him on the podium.

Antonie Marx

Nicole Jooste, African Group Lubricants’ Marketing Manager, highlights the exciting twists in the final round before the mid-season break. “Saturday set up the shape of things to come in the second half of the 2024 Mobil 1 V8 Supercars season. We are heading towards an exhilarating final few rounds this year, with some new names coming to the fore. Much like the Mobil 1 lubricants relied upon by South Africa’s most powerful circuit racing series, a title win requires lots of hard work and development. This weekend, with various names topping certain stages, showed that the work continuously going into the series by competitors is paying off to set up a conclusion you would not want to miss.”

The Mobil 1 V8 Supercars competitors have a two-month break before their next outing, which will take place at Cape Town’s Killarney International Raceway on 9 and 10 August 2024.

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