A perfect performance, taking every point on offer at the final round of the 2020 Pozidrive VW Challenge championship at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 7 November, by Rory Atkinson (BHIT Polo) made sure that he secured the overall championship to add to the Class A title he wrapped up at the last round.

2020 - Round 5 - Zwartkops Raceway
Rory Atkinson leads the chasing pack

Atkinson claimed pole position in Saturday morning’s qualifying session from Waldie Meintjes (Blue Belt Pozidrive Polo) and Dawie van der Merwe (Universal Motorsport Polo). 2019 Champion Stiaan Kriel (T-Rex Racing/Creative Ink Polo), making his first Pozidrive VW Challenge appearance of 2020, set the fourth quickest time with the Masters brothers, Bevin (CPS Warehouse Polo) and Wayne (Performance Masters Polo), filling the third row of the grid. Jody Robertson (JRT Racing Polo) and Chris Dale (Blue Belt Pozidrive Polo) rounded out the top eight.

In Class B, the only driver with a chance of preventing Atkinson from taking the overall championship, Deon Holliday Jnr (Monitor Net Polo), had to settle for second on the grid behind Stuart Mack (Blue Belt Pozidrive Polo) missing out on the bonus point for pole position. Robyn Kriel (T-Rex Racing/Kalex/Creative Ink Polo) headed the second row of the grid with Sam Dale (Blue Belt Pozidrive Polo) alongside her. Robbie Da Silva (T-Rex Racing/Creative Ink Polo)and Bryce Pillay (FK Automotive/Techtisa Polo) occupied fifth and sixth with Leyton Fourie (Armal Polo) and Mitch Coetzee (JRT Racing Polo) in seventh and eighth.

Mohammed Karodia (Fast 5 Motorsport Polo) just got the better of Andy Gossman (Blue Belt Pozidrive Polo) to take his first Class C pole position. Philip Croeser (ATE Polo) was less than a tenth quicker than Adriaan de Beer (Zonke WiFi Polo), but it was enough to take third with Dino Smit (JRT Racing) and Charl Andresen (Polo) on the third row of the grid.

In the opening heat, Atkinson grabbed the early lead, crossing the line at the end of the opening lap just over a second ahead of Meintjes with Stiaan Kriel in third. Atkinson was able to control things from the front and was never trouble on his way to a three-second margin of victory. Van der Merwe, who dropped to fourth at the start, soon found a way past Kriel and set about closing the gap to Meintjes. It took him until the last lap to find a way through, but he did and took second. Meintjes had to settle for third while Bevin Masters just got the better of Kriel to take fourth. Wayne Masters, Chris Dale and Derick Smalberger (Sabertek Polo) crossed the line less than a second apart to take sixth, seventh and eighth.

Stuart Mack holds off Deon Holliday Jnr
Stuart Mack holds off Deon Holliday Jnr

Holliday Jnr was the early Class B leader, but Mack found a way through just a couple of laps into the race. Mack was then able to open up a gap while Holliday Jnr had to fend off the attention of Robyn Kriel. He was able to stay ahead of her and take second but it was not enough to prevent Atkinson from claiming the overall championship. Sam Dale was next up, just ahead of Fourie with Da Silva in a slightly lonely sixth. Mitch Coetzee got the better of Pillay to take seventh.

Karodia’s start from pole in Class C was a bit too good and, although he crossed the line in second at the end of the race, the subsequent 30-second penalty for a jumps start dropped him to fourth. Gossman made his way to the front of the field shortly after the half-way mark, so Karodia’s penalty didn’t have any effect on him but it did help both Croeser and de Beer who were classified in second and third respectively. Andersen and Smit rounded out the top six.

Although the championship was his, Atkinson didn’t ease off in the second heat, grabbing the lead from the start but van der Merwe wasn’t going to let him have an easy passage to victory. The pair opened up a big gap over the chasing pack, but Atkinson was in front when it counted, taking his ninth heat win of the season. Bevin Masters, Meintjes and Robertson had a good scrap for the final podium position with Masters able to open a slight gap over Meintjes in the closing stages of the race to secure third. Smalberger took sixth ahead of Mike Barbaglia (Litemart Polo) with Stiaan Kriel classified in eighth a lap down.

The opening laps of the second heat saw Mack leading the Class B pack with Fourie in his wheel tracks and Holliday Jnr not far behind. The leading pair slowly opened the gap to Holliday Jnr before Fourie took the lead with just a couple of laps to go. The youngster was able to hang on to take his first Pozidrive VW Challenge win by just under a quarter of a second. Robyn Kriel couldn’t get close enough to Holliday Jnr to mount a challenge and had to settle for fourth just ahead of Sam Dale. Stablemates Da Silva and Mohamed Damgor (Creative Ink/T-Rex Racing Polo) were separated by a couple of seconds in sixth and seventh with Mitch Coetzee a second and a half further back in eighth.

Andy Gossman
Andy Gossman leads Mohammed Karodia

Gossman grabbed the early lead in Class C, pulling away from Karodia to take a comfortable win. Behind them, Croeser and de Beer had a race-long battle for third, with de Beer taking it by half a second. Smit was the last classified Class C finisher in fifth.

In the day’s overall standings, Atkinson took Class A from van der Merwe and Meintjes. Mack emerged at the top of Class B from Fourie and Holliday Jnr while Gossman was comfortably ahead of Croeser and de Beer in Class C.

As far as the overall championship is concerned, Atkinson claimed the honours from Holliday Jnr with Mack and Bevin Masters tied on 63 points in third. Gossman and van der Merwe rounded out the top six. Atkinson walked away with Class A as well, with Masters and van der Merwe in second and third respectively. Holliday Jnr took Class B from Mack and Robyn Kriel while Gossman topped the Class C standings from de Beer and Croeser.

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