Mobil 1 V8 Supercars

Mobil 1 V8 Supercars return to the Free State for championship battle

  • Julian Fameliaris will be out to extend his advantage at the head of the standings at the circuit where he took his first win.
  • Multiple champion Mackie Adlem is eager to narrow the gap to the leader.
  • Di Matteo and Lombard are looking for a bigger points haul.

The Mobil 1 V8 Supercars brigade head to Welkom’s Phakisa Freeway for the third round of their 2023 championship on 26 and 27 May.

The last time the series visited the Free State circuit in 2021, Julian Fameliaris (Lube-Net / Di Matteo Racing / GWR Chevrolet Corvette) claimed his first Mobil 1 V8 Supercars race win. This year he has yet to finish a race off the podium and makes the trip back to the 4.242km circuit leading the championship with a 19-point advantage.

Thomas Reib (Mobil 1 / Café 9 Automotive Chevrolet Lumina) lies second in the standings. Last time he was at Phkisa, he had a slightly disappointing outing, finishing inside the top six in both heats, but Reib will have to improve on that if he is to close the gap to Fameliaris. Like Fameliaris, he has been a consistent performer in the 2023 season.

Six-time defending champion Mackie Adlem (Adlem Auto Jaguar XKR) has had a difficult start in his quest for a seventh title. Two wins have shown that he still has the pace to run at the front, but mechanical issues limited his scoring opportunities in the other two heats. All this means he lies third in the standings, 23 points behind Reib. In 2021, Adlem lost out on a race win due to tyre degradation, something he will be mindful of this coming weekend.

Despite having to race in a borrowed car at Red Star after the motor in his PepBoys Automotive Ford Falcon broke in Friday’s final practice session, Warren Lombard was able to score decent points and move up to fourth on the points table, 15 points adrift of Adlem. Like Adlem, he was also in the running for victory in his last outing at the circuit but lost the lead due to a lack of grip.

Illness forced Franco di Matteo (Deltec Batteries / NHR Mining Jaguar XKR) to withdraw from the second heat last time out at Red Star, but he is still in fifth place in the championship, just seven points behind Lombard. Di Matteo shared the heat wins with stablemate Fameliaris in Welkom at the last visit and hopes to be back at the front on Saturday.

Terry Wilford (Fuchs Lubricants / Schick Ford Mustang) has shown front-running pace this year but has yet to turn it into significant points hauls. He is 20 points behind Di Matteo in sixth place and should be able to close that gap if he can take advantage of the speed he has shown.

Steve Herbst  (PPG Coatings / PREI Instrumentation / QI Systems Chevrolet Corvette) is 20 points behind Wilford in seventh place and is eager to build on his good start to 2023. Herbst has been visibly more confident this year, after resolving the technical issues that hampered him in 2022. He loves the circuit and is eager to bring home a pair of good results.

Carl Nel (Gears For Africa Chevrolet Corvette), who hasn’t had a competitive Mobil 1 V8 Supercars outing since the series visited Killarney last year, will be making a welcome return. In his previous outings, he has shown that he has the speed to mix it up with the front-runners when things go his way and will be looking to do that in the Free State.

African Group Lubricants’ Marketing Manager Nicole Jooste is looking forward to the series putting on an excellent show outside the mining town of Welkom. “There is no doubt about the popularity of the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars among the motorsport fans in the Free State, and the longer, flowing circuit is equally as popular with our drivers, particularly as it allows them to unleash the full power of their V8 machines. Therefore, it is also a good place to test the quality of Mobil 1 range of lubricants. Saturday’s Mobil 1 V8 Supercars races are set to be the highlight of the Extreme Festival programme.”

Saturday’s two eight-lap races are scheduled for 10:50 and 14:30. The full race programme will be broadcasted live on the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars Facebook page and 2WheelsTV YouTube Channel.

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