These children are part of...
These children are part of a local program that gives disadvantaged youth opportunities for education and growth through participation in motorsports. Johannesburg native, Gugu Zulu (white and orange uniform) is a graduate of the program. The children in front (from l to r): Kopano Sedi, Katleho Mokhatla, Tshepo Malitjane, Thabang Holo. The adults (from l to r) are Marc Davis, who finished Third; MEC Dan Kgothule; winner John Mickel; Free State Premier Ace Magashule; Gugu Zulu; Toni McCray, the runner-up; Elizabeth Maklein (Deputy Chair of Phakisa Sports and Development and the head of the youth program); and Dennis Huth, President of the ASA.
"Obviously, if you commit to do something like this, you want to be able to build on it for the future. We are currently in discussions to do just that," says Huth. Adding an exclamation to that statement, during the post race press conference, Free State Premier Magashule announced that his government would support the return of the Free State 500 for 2011.
"Next year we will have you come back to Phakisa," said Premier Magashule. "Bring your families and bring your friends, please come and experience everything our country has to offer."
The Free State 500 had everything a fan or competitor could ask for, tight racing, fender-to-fender excitement, a ground-breaking format that allowed cars with different engine types to compete against one another, and much more. But the success of the race signals the start of what could be a whole new area of growth for short-track motorsports, an international oval track series, the ASA Transcontinental Series. A solid foundation proven by a strong car count and 10,000-plus fans in the stands has been established. Now the sky's the limit for the Free State 500K and the ASA Transcontinental Series.
After the racing was done,...
After the racing was done, the competitors and their families were treated to a couple of days of R&R at the Savannah Cheetah Foundation's Ranch in nearby Parys, South Africa where they got the opportunity to meet a cheetah up close and personal. Contrary to popular belief, the cheetah did not catch Ron Barfield, that's Springbok antelope in the his bowl.
We at Circle Track have stayed...
We at Circle Track have stayed in a lot of interesting hotels in our racing lives, but this one definitely had the best view. Typical landscape in this region of South Africa included Impala antelope roaming the plains.
A post-race safari afforded...
A post-race safari afforded everybody a chance to get a firsthand look at native South African animals including zebra, rhinoceros, wildebeest, and giraffe.
|The Official Finishing Order
||Name and Hometown
||John Mickel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
||Toni McCray, Highland, CA
||Marc Davis, Mitchelville, MD
||Rick McCray, Bloomington, CA
||Johan Spies, Cape Town, South Africa
||Gary Lewis, Bothell, WA
||Tiffany Daniels, Smithfield, VA
||Greg Barnhart, Oklahoma City, OK
||Geoff Bodine, Chemung, NY
||Danie Correia, Welkom, South Africa
||Gugu Zulu, Johannesburg, South Africa
||Mark Ebert, Tucson, AZ
||Ron Norman, Tucson, AZ
||Shaun Richardson, Noosa,Queensland,Australia
||Johan Cronje, Welkom, South Africa
||Russ Blakeley, Whitewater, WI
||Tim Olson, Hamel, MN
||Johan Coetzer, Welkom, South Africa
||Steve Carlson, West Salem, WI
||Chris Wimmer, Wausau, WI
||Jaco Correia, Welkom, South Africa
||Mark Shaffer, Peoria, AZ
||Lance Fenton, Tyler, TX
||Don Uhlir, Tucson, AZ