Zwartkops was host to the 3rd round of the national Formula Vee championship this weekend, which provided action-packed racing once again. The highlight, however, was the performance of Motorsport South Africa development driver Zaahir Essa (Reflex Solutions) who experienced the highs and lows of motorsport in one day.
Essa, in the Lotto-provided Rhema 2, was full of confidence after his double win in the last event, but was let down with engine failure in qualifying just after having posted a laptime quick enough for pole position. Without a spare motor, he was forced to use his older Rhema 1. Unfortunately due to the car not being at the track or even race-ready, Essa was only able to join the first heat a few laps into the race.Essa started the second heat from the back of the grid, and really showcased his current stunning form. Immediately off the start-line and during the first 3 laps, Essa attacked hard and made up positions in just about every corner, unbelievably crossing the line in 4th position. He then set his sights on the lead pack of Symm Grobler (Auto Mecca), Peter Hills (Renexcon), both Ex-National Formula Vee Champions, and third placed man Trevor Bland. Setting consecutive fastest laps to reel them in and after dispatching Bland and Hills in two corners, Essa took the lead from Grobler with a little over 4 laps to go and maintained this position to the finish.
“I can’t believe it,” Essa reflected. “I was gutted after missing the first race, but I really gave it my all in the second one. Even though the car was last started in November and I had overheating issues, everything managed to come together and I’m ecstatic to say the least.”
Essa now stands 4th in the championship, with five rounds remaining. Formula Vee heads to Aldo Scribante in Port Elizabeth on the 8th of May 2010.