Dean Venter (TEU Southern Africa Swift) and David Jermy (Beauty Factory van Diemen) each took a heat win at the second round of 2019 Investchem Formula Ford Kent championship, held at the Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 18 May. James Reeves (Ray) and Paul Gerber (Pablo Clark Ray) shared the third places.
Jonathan Nash (Turnfab Engineering Swift) was leading the championship as the drivers headed for Zwartkops, but a blown engine during the final practice session on Friday afternoon put paid to any chance of him adding to his points tally. With Nash on the sidelines, it was left to Venter and Jermy to fight for pole position in the morning qualifying session. Venter emerged on top with Jermy just over a tenth of a second behind. Reeves claimed third ahead of Gerber. Allen Meyer (van Diemen) got the better of Matthys Strydom (Talon) to head the third row of the grid with Jeff Gable (van Diemen) and Steve Venter (TEU Southern Africa Swift) rounding out the top eight.
A clutch problem left pole-sitter Dean Venter stranded on the start line when the lights went out at the start of the first race and, when a competitor from couldn’t avoid the stranded Swift, the race was red-flagged. At the re-start, Venter was able to get away and, despite a bent rear wishbone, was able to keep Jermy behind him. Jermy tried everything he could to get past, but Venter was able to keep the reigning champion behind him until Jermy made a slight mistake. This allowed Venter a bit of breathing space and he then had a comfortable run to the flag. Jermy’s mistake allowed Reeves, who had just got the better of his race-long battle with Gerber, to close the gap between them but Reeves wasn’t able to mount a serious challenge and had to settle for third. Strydom, making a return to the series after sitting out the 2018 season, ended in a somewhat lonely fifth place with Steve Venter and Matt Nash (Royale) in sixth and seventh.
Another startline incident at the start of the second race saw the first four laps of the second race being run behind the safety car. Once racing got underway, it was again Dean Venter and Jermy fighting it out at the front of the field. Venter held the upper hand until the final lap when Jermy was able to find a way through and take the win by just over a quarter of a second. Strydom and Gerber had a great battle for the final podium position, with the result only decided on the final lap when Gerber got through to cross the line just over a tenth of a second in front. Behind the leading quartet, a three-way battle for fifth went to Steve Venter with Matt Nash and Meyer in his wheel tracks. Gable rounded out the top eight.
Dean Venter claimed the silverware for the overall victory on the day with Jermy and Gerber joining him on the podium.
The next outing for Investchem Formula Ford Kent brigade is scheduled for Red Star Raceway on Saturday, 22 June.