The second season of Speed Stars wasn’t only about giving our country’s biggest names the chance to show off their driving skills, it was about making new stars, and public contestant Sandro Godinho shone brightest in our season finale!
We met Sandro and his son Aryton at Compu-Kart in Modderfontein, where they had entered our national Speed Stars Search. If his sons name didn’t give it away, their race helmets certainly did – this is a passionate family who love cars and motorsport! With entry requirements preventing individuals with prior motor racing experience, the Godinho’s represented exactly what we were looking for. And they were fast – only the four fastest qualifiers from the participating karting venues made it through to our next round – they both qualified. They were joined by fourteen other contestants hoping to finish in the top four and with it, a spot on the show and a chance to take on the stars.
While Aryton was eliminated, Sandro not only made it onto the show, but after twelve episodes and twenty-four contestants, it was his name at the top of the leaderboard!
Our finals were contested by our six fastest guests with Sandro joined by Maps Maponyane, public contestant Chad Luckhoff, Richard Stirton, Wayde van Niekerk and Akani Simbine – a real star lineup! Facing our finalists were three elimination rounds designed to challenge their driving ability and test their composure. Maps Maponyane was the first to be eliminated in our second-round Speed and Stopping Test before we said goodbye to Akani Simbine in round three in a super close gymkhana shoot against Richard Stirton.
With four contestants remaining it was back to the track and our familiar two-lap, head to head race format. In our ‘all public’ first semi-final, Sandro beat Chad to be the first to book a place in the final race where he was soon joined by Richard who beat Wayde in our ‘All Star’ second semi-final.
Sandro came into the day as favourite and had not put a foot wrong in his untroubled charge to this the final race. Richard however had narrowly missed elimination earlier in the day but was super-fast in his semi-final and seemed to be finding his rhythm at the perfect time, for the final race!
The final did not disappoint, and at the end of the two-lap race we had witnessed the closest head to head race of the season, with 0.3sec separating Sandro and Richard!
Congratulations to Sandro Godinho, our season two Speed Stars winner!
As the winner of Speed Stars, Sandro will be heading off overseas to join Michelin for a real racing driver experience with their 2017 Michelin Pilot Sport Experience. He also received a timepiece from Swiss manufacturer, Fortis, valued at R30 000-00.
But Sandro wasn’t our only big winner! Congratulations to Lezaan Vrey and Brian Anderton who will be joining Sandro overseas on that trip with Michelin as our Grand Prize winners in our Predict the Winner competition. Our Predict the Winner competition ran the entire season on our show as well as through our media partner, Independent Media in their motoring supplements in The Star, Pretoria News, Daily News, The Mercury and The Cape Times, with our weekly prize winners all receiving an Advanced Driving Course with Opel at the Gerotek Test Facility in Gauteng.
Michelin also donated R30 000-00 to charity and this season Speed Stars supported The Sunflower Fund and Ark Animal Centre through our weekly charity challenges which our guests competed in. We were pleased to hand over a cheque for R20 000-00 to The Sunflower Fund and R10 000-00 to Ark Animal Centre.
A massive thank you to Michelin for their commitment, support and dedication to Speed Stars as well as to our partners: Opel, Zwartkops Raceway, Force Fuel, Greensky, The Fairway Hotel.
And a special thank you to all our stars that gave of their time to be a part of the show – without them we don’t have a show:
Garreth ‘Soldierboy’ McLellan
Wayde van Niekerk
And of course, to you, the public, for entering, watching, sharing, supporting and talking about Speed Stars. We trust you enjoyed the show and learnt to be better and safer drivers.
Missed any episodes? Check out our You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCstqytA7b0Hyc2iGP5ttCMA