THE MOTORSPORT LAP
Dominant Vergne wins final race to bag series
The Formula E championship season concluded in New York at the weekend
The final race of the 2017-18 Formula E championship took place in New York, US, at the weekend in which Jean-Eric Vergne (Techeetah) clinched victory ahead of the two Audi Sport ABT Shaeffler entries of Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt.
Vergne has dominated the season and managed to clinch the championship with 198 points, followed in second spot by Di Grassi with 144, while Sam Bird (DS Virgin Racing) finished a point adrift of Di Grassi with 143 points.
Di Grassi struggled at the start of the season, not finishing in the points for four races, but he made up for this by finishing on the podium from the sixth race up to the finale.
In the constructors’ championship, the Audi Sport ABT team clinched overall victory with 264 points followed by Techeetah with 262 and DS Virgin a distant third with 160.
The fifth season of the championship will start in Saudi Arabia on December 15.
It was also the German leg of the MotoGP championship in which Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) claimed overall victory in the MotoGP class, marking his ninth consecutive win at the Sachsenring circuit. He was followed to the flag by Movistar Yamaha teammates Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales.
In Moto2, South African rider Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) finally took victory followed by Joan Mir (Marc VDS Kalex) and Luca Marini (Sky racing Team VR46 Kalex).
The Moto3 class yielded a victory for Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Honda), followed by Marco Bezzechi (Redox Preustel GP KTM) and John McPhee (CIP-Green Power KTM). The next race will be the Czech Republic MotoGP on August 5.
Locally, the Extreme Festival was held on the newly refurbished tarmac of Aldo Scribante in Port Elizabeth where the Sasol GTC class saw defending champion Michael Stephen (Engen Audi) lead the opening race from start to finish, followed by Simon Moss (Engen Audi) and Johan Fourie (EPS Couriers BMW). The second heat went to Daniel Rowe in a works Volkswagen Jetta, followed by Fourie and Moss.
In the GTC2 class, Devin Robertson (Ferodo Mini JCW) clinched the first heat ahead of Bradley Liebenberg (Champion Mini JCW) and Charl Smalberger (Sabertek Golf GTI). Heat two went to Liebenberg.
Possibly the event’s biggest crowd drawcards were two races of the G&H Transport Extreme Supercars. The first was run in wet conditions in which Charl Arangies lead with his Stradale Lamborghini Gallardo before sliding off the circuit twice, but he still managed to work his way back to second place, behind the Porsche 977T of victor Franco Scribante. Third spot went to Jonathan du Toit (TAR Ferrari F430). Arangies won the second heat ahead of Du Toit and Dawie Olivier (G&H Transport BMW M3).
In the Volkswagen Polo Cup Jeffrey Kruger (Universal Health Polo) drove to a brilliant victory in the first race, followed by Shaun La Reservee (Alpine Motors Polo) and Tasmin Pepper (Electric Life Polo).
In the second race both title contenders, Jonathan Mogotsi and Pepper, were sidelined in a multicar pile-up, which left La Reservee to win ahead of Clinton Bezuidenhout (Glyco Engine Polo) and Kruger.
The next race is at Zwartkops Raceway on August 18.
In historic Formula One news, following a 26-year hiatus since its last grand prix the Minardi M191B chassis number 003, equipped with a Lamborghini LE3512 V12 engine and one of the protagonists of F1 in 1992, is back on the track.
The shakedown organised by Lamborghini Squadra Corse follows a restoration by Lamborghini Polo Storico.
After being on display at the Lamborghini Museum in Sant’Agata Bolognese, the car underwent seven months’ work to return to its original efficiency. The car is now ready to compete in the championships dedicated to historic F1 races.