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Leet Racing Race report – Red Star 7 March 2020

The Lotus Challenge got its season underway this last weekend at Red Star Raceway near Delmas. A healthy entry list of 23 competitors included 10 entries for class L with three new rookies. Leet Racing cars comprised 7 of the 10 entries, with another being Leet Racing supported.

Weather played ball over Friday practice and Saturday’s race day, with sunny skies and mild temperatures, making it easier for competitors to brush off the cobwebs since last running in 2019.Qualifying:Ten eager class L drivers rolled out of the pits for qualifying on Saturday morning. The battle at the front saw 2019 champion Wesley Maxwell (Vibro Ecco Aggregates / Leet Racing) fighting it out with Ruan van der Walt (Strap King / Adlem Auto Racing) and Juan Du Toit (Leet Racing / Adlem Auto Racing / D Coetzee) while Andre du Plessis (Leet Racing) and Pieter van Aardt (Vibro Ecco Aggregates / Leet Racing) squabbled over fourth. Rookie Miles Downard (Singular Systems / Leet Racing) made a surprise appearance in 6th just a tenth ahead of Ben Knights while Nick Hodgson (Singular Systems / Leet Racing), Jurie Cordier (Leet Racing) and Phillip Addicott (DB Projects / Leet Racing) rounded off the field.

Race 1: With starting positions settled for Race 1 the drivers lined up for the start, which turned into a bit of a shambles when marshals waved the green flag before everyone had sorted themselves out on the grid. Having made a stellar getaway Andre du Plessis found himself in second place behind Wesley Maxwell. Race positions swapped twice, Andre taking the lead and then Wesley taking it back. On the last lap Wesley got a little out of shape allowing Andre to pounce and take the lead which he maintained to the chequered flag. When the lights went out Ben Knights quickly rectified matters from qualifying jumping ahead of Miles. Juan Du Toit, Pieter van Aardt, Ben Knights and Ruan van der Walt fought over 3rd place, with an impressive Miles Downard managing to keep up. The van Aard / van der Walt / Knights train eventually pulled away a bit from the rest and managed to catch up to the battling front runners. Ruan had an unfortunate spin on some old oil and the race ended with van Pieter 3rd, Ben in 4th and Ruan in 5th. Juan took 6th spot with Miles in 7th, Nick, Jurie and Phillip in that order all managing respectable race finishes.

Race 2: With the heat of battle once again pulsing through the drivers veins they lined up for race 2 in the order of Ruan, Pieter, Andre, Wesley, Ben, Juan, Miles, Nick, Jurie, Phillip. The start was a good one this time around, aside from a stranded class B driver whose car broke a side shaft at pull off. Most avoided the stationery obstacle but unfortunately Miles ducked out from the mid pack just as they approached the hazard and it was too late to avoid contact. With debris littered across the track the race was red flagged while marshals cleared up for a restart.

As the lights went out a second time everyone got away cleanly. This time it was Ruan who survived the hard charging Wesley followed home by Andre in third. Wesley managed to lead part of the race but Ruan gained back his lead in the last part of the race. Pieter slid back into fourth while the remainder of the field followed in starting order aside from Nick who suffered an alternator problem allowing Jurie to slip by on the last lap.

With the season’s first blood going to Wesley, the other title hopefuls will be relishing the 24th of April when Class L resumes battle at Phakisa.

Overall results for the day:

1st Wesley Maxwell (Vibro Ecco Aggregates / Leet Racing)
2nd Andre’ du Plessis (Leet Racing)
3rd Pieter van Aardt (Vibro Ecco Aggregates / Leet Racing)

Class L Leader board:

1st Wesley Maxwell (Vibro Ecco Aggregates / Leet Racing)
2nd Andre’ du Plessis (Leet Racing)
3rd Ruan van der Walt (Strap King / Adlem Auto Racing)

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