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Race report by Deon Gove
The weekend of 26th to 28th August saw Midrand Offroad RC club in Johannesburg as host to the second round of the South African National Championship. With the 2016 season been decided over 2 rounds and both counting towards the overall result the pressure was on for the 3 class contenders.

Friday saw the start of spring/summer as the weather warmed up nicely for the open practice before qualifying would start on Saturday. In Electric buggy the championship would more than likely be contested by the top 4 drivers with Deon Gove leading over Aksay Patel due to a tie break at the first round at APN in Durban. Unfortunately Thomas Schmuck had to withdraw his entry and would not be able to defend his 2015 title at the final event. Quintis Van der Merwe would have an outside chance to take the overall championship as 2 new comers to electric buggy would join for the last round. Both Dean Steenmans and Tiaan Oelofse been top nitro contends could split the tight field and rearrange the final points standing.

Saturday morning kick off in even better summer weather with the first of 4 qualifiers and Deon taking the win after Dean fell out from the lead with electrical problems and this was the end of the event for him. The next round saw Tiaan get a clean run and take the win from Deon and Aksay. In the 3rd qualifier Deon came out on top and was able to secure his second TQ of the championship.

Qualifying

1. Deon Gove XRAY XB8E

2. Tiaan Oelofse
3. Aksay Patel
4. Quintis Van der Merwe
5. Jaco Taljaard
6. Johann Van Zyl XRAY XB8E
7. Neville Menezes
8. Dean Steermans
9. Etienne Scheepers

Sunday morning Finals day arrived and once again showed true South African fine weather with no wind and prefect conditions for the competitors to fight it out for the overall result. Race one of three would be taken by Tiaan as Deon seemed to be playing the long championship game and securing points over his closest title contenders. However with just 2 minutes left Deon would suffer a mechanical fault causing a loss of 25 seconds with a jammed wheel however due to quick support this would be resolved and he would hold onto second from Quintis.

The second round saw Deon let Tiaan go past early on and the same game plan seems to be in effect for the championship. Once again Deon would suffer late in the race with the loss of power due to a sensor cable failure. This would leave the final and championship still open coming down to the final race as Aksay took second in the race.

The final round decider saw a close race early on with Tiaan and Deon however Tiaan traction rolling out and Deon leading the way from Aksay close behind. Deon was able to put in a consistent high pace that Aksay could not maintain through the 10 minute final and this would give Deon second overall for the event and wrap up the South African title for 2016

Overall National Electric Buggy Championship 2016

1. Deon Gove XRAY XB8E

2. Aksay Patel
3. Qunitis Van der Merwe

 
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