The Southern African Endurance Series Championship is wide open and scoring points will be vital as teams race through sunset and into the night in the five-hour clash at the Aldo Scribante circuit in Gqeberha on June 1.

Current log leaders are the Pple Group/Adapt Signage team of Phillip Meyer/Dean Wolson/Mark Harvey whose Backdraft Roadster V8 has performed nearly faultlessly in the opening two rounds, earning them 71 points to the 62 points of Setshaba Mashego who will certainly lose that placing as he is not entered for the event.

Currently in third place, also in a Backdraft Roadster are Trevor Graham and Dan Hirsch on 60 points.

Into Africa Lamborghini Huracan

The South African Endurance Series (SAES) is a Driver’s Championship. Hence, each member of the team scores points overall and in their respective classes and, to make things even more interesting, each will have to drop the worst score from one of the six rounds at the end of the season.

However, this points drop can be only from a race in which they started, so any event not contested keeps a zero points score.

All the top teams have missed a round with a couple of other teams not finishing – notably the Promigen Audi (Paul Hill/Bradley Liebenberg) at the Zwartkops event and Mike McLoughlin/Steve Clark in the Slingshot Backdraft at the opening round at Red Star Raceway. Both these teams can drop this bad race result fortunately.

Last year was a 4 Hour race at Aldo Scribante that saw the Stradale Mercedes-Benz (Charl Arangies/Arnold Neveling) and Into Africa  (Xolile Letlaka/Stuart White) teams in a pendulum tussle that saw Into Africa beat Stradale at the end, with Nick Adcock in 3rd and Hein Lategaan in fourth in the Porsche after having to stop to bleed the brakes to get rid of an airlock.
SA Endurance Series Nova Proto

“The fastest lap last year in the race was the 57:041 of White and that was in lap 173 of the 204 laps they achieved in the four hours, so we can expect around 250 laps for the 5 hours,” says CEO of the Southern African Endurance Series, Wayne Riddell.

Phillip Meyer says the team is looking forward to the Aldo Scribante challenge, adding: “The fact  you have got in the the sun right in your eyes in the afternoon going through Chevy Corner is challenging because you struggle to see the apex of the corner.

“However, the circuit is pretty well lit at night so I am not expecting too many challenges after dark and we did quite well there last year.”

Winners from the last outing, Nick Adcock and Charl Visser will be back in action with the blisteringly quick Mustang-engine Adjust4Sleep/Rico Barlow Racing Nova Proto. Visser set the fastest lap ever at Zwartkops and can be counted on to wring every tenth of a second out of the Nova. They however bring an added sharp edge in their arsenal with local ace Michael Stephen joining in as the third driver in the line-up.

White and Letlaka in the Into Africa Racing Lamborghini are keen to make the chequered flag their own and will certainly be out to gain every point they can, especially as they were race winners last year at this event – as will Paul Hill and Bradley Liebenberg in the Promigen Audi that suffered a driveshaft failure at Zwartkops, ending their race and dropping them down to 24th place on the points log.

Another team desperate for a good points haul is the BBR Racing Porsche trio of Hein and Henk Lategan with Verrisimo Tavares who currently lie 16th on the table after missing the last event due to a family commitment.

Audi sees a second car running for this event in the form of the MJR Motorsport entry for Marius Jackson and Joseph Ellerine and this, along with the Spheremotorsport Toyota of Sergio Alvares/Paul del Re/Marco da Cunha simply adds spice to the Class A tussle.

In Class B the battle will be between Gianni and Ricky Giannoccaro with Ant Blunden in the G&H Transport/Sajco Audi against the Backdraft in the hands of Kishoor and Mikaeel Pitamber while the  Class C will be a solo run for the Kalex VW Golf of Karah Hill and Jurie Swart who currently sit in 26th place on the championship log and are eager to score points.

Class D is also uncontested with only the Korridas VW Golf of Mozambique racers Bruno Campos/Marcos Rodrigues/Joao Martins on the entry list.

Endurance racing in the dark

“It is hats off to Brian (Martin) and the guys at Backdraft. They've done an exceptional job making, preparing the cars, getting them race ready and making sure that there is proper support at the track when something does go wrong,” says Meyer – and with nine Class E Backdraft Roadster’s making the trip to the Eastern Cape, the fight in this class will be intense.

Currently lying seventh overall in the series is Lonika Maartens in her Backdraft but she will be without regular partner, Fabienne Lanz for this event – instead partnering with Boeta Aucamp, the manager for SA’s UFC World Championship fighter, Dricus du Plessis.

Lanz is entered in another car with Denver Branders, so it will be entertaining to watch the fight between the former teammates over the distance, not discounting the strong challenge for class honours expected from the Pesty Racing pairing of Harm and Barend Pretorius or the steady pace of the Tradecore Steel trio of CJ Blackman/JP Briner/Anthony Hoare, who are currently in ninth place on the log.

Getting better and quicker every race are Fikile Holomisa and Baphumze in their Team Qhubani Backdraft who get to bed in a new car for this round and the Aldo Scribante Circuit could just suit them – not discounting the Dutchmann/Browndeck Roofing Backdraft of Gavin Rooke and Richard van Heerde or the similar car of Karshin Naidoo and Mark Owens.

Either way, this class is growing both in numbers and in competitive action so race fans can expect some mighty tussles as the race progresses.


The official support racing series for SAES is the Super Vee series and 14 cars will make the start with some extremely close racing expected from these identical single-seaters with Jeandre le Roux in one of the Liqui Moly cars determined to take the top spot on the podium from teammate Lushen Ramchander – but not if Blane de Meillon or Allen Meyer have any say in the proceedings.

The Aldo Scribante event will also feature a full race card of Eastern Cape Regional classes so racegoers will be thoroughly entertained the whole day.

Supplied by SA Endurance Series