After a two-month winter break, nearly 40 cars will make their way to the KwaZulu-Natal south coast for the fifth round of the 2018 MotorMart VW Challenge. Saturday, 11 August will see the drivers tackle two races at the Dezzi South Coast Raceway, just outside Port Shepstone, a circuit many of the competitors have not experienced before.
Jacques Smith (BPM Engineering Polo) had a difficult start to the season, leaving Midvaal after the first round without a point on the board, but he has turned things around since then, winning five of his next six races and sharing the lead of the overall championship with Rory Atkinson (BHIT Polo). The pair has a six-point advantage over Stiaan Kriel (Pozidrive/Kalex Polo) who is, in turn, six points ahead of Chris Dale (Blue Belt/Pozidrive Polo). Waldie Meintjes (Dimension Signs Polo) is next up in the overall standings, although that is likely to change as, at the time of writing, he has not entered the Dezzi Raceway event. Lyle Ramsay (Monroe Racing RSA/Fuchs Lubricants Polo) is just a couple of points behind Meintjes and a single point ahead of Nic Clarke (Avo Performance Suspension Polo) and Deon Holliday Jnr (Monitor Net Polo) who both have 39 points.
Although Kriel has won more races this season than Atkinson, four as against two, Atkinson has generally finished in the podium when he hasn’t won, giving him a six-point advantage over Kriel in the class A standings. They are likely to be joined at the front of the field by Ramsay and Clarke, with GTC2 champion Keagan Masters (Performance Masters Polo), making his second appearance of the year in a MotorMart VW Challenge car, also capable of running at the head of the field.
Others who could be in with the chance of a podium finish include Wayne Masters (Performance Masters Polo), Craig Gammie (GTR Performance Polo), Quinton Needham (MotorMart Polo) and Bevin Masters (The CPS Warehouse Polo).
Smith will be hoping his run of good form in class B continues but there are a host of drivers queuing up to end his winning streak. The leading contenders in that queue are Dale and Holliday Jnr, although if Roberto Joaquim (Cool Freeze/Auto Aircon Polo) can overcome the mechanical niggles that have plagued him since his double victory at the opening round back in February, he should also be at the front of the pack. Mohamed Dangor (MotorMart VW Polo) had his best event of the season last time out at Midvaal and, if he can continue like that, could be a serious contender for a podium finish. Deon Holliday Snr (Centparts Centurion Polo), John Johnstone (Zontes Polo) and Stuart Mack (Race Technology Polo) are also capable of stirring things up at the front of the class B pack.
Class C, with its new engine rules, had small fields at the beginning of the season, but the numbers are growing. Christiaan de Wet (Polo) leads the was in the title race from Philip Croeser (ATE Polo) with Andy Gossman (Technikon Auto Spares Polo) and Andre Needham (MotorMart Klerksdorp Polo) not far behind. They will be joined by Robbie da Silva in another MotoMart Klerksdorp Polo.
Huge entries at the Dezzi event have necessitated a change to the normal order of events with qualifying taking place at 16h15 on Friday afternoon as opposed to its normal Saturday morning slot. The opening 10-lap race is scheduled to get underway at 11h15 with the second race on the card at 15h00.