Final Challenge at Zwartkops

Stiian Kriel leads Iain Pepper last time out at Zwartkops

Stiaan Kriel leads Iain Pepper last time out at Zwartkops

Although there is only one title left to be decided, about 30 VW Challenge competitors will make their way to Zwartkops Raceway, west of Pretoria for the final round of the 2017 championship on Saturday, 25 November. Another full-house point haul last time out at Kyalami gave Adrian Wood (Laserfische Polo) the class B and overall titles while Rory Atkinson (Pozidrive Polo) wrapped up the 2017 championship at the Midrand circuit. The class A championship is still to be decided, with Iain Pepper (Husqvarna Motorcycles LTR Polo) needing just a couple of points at Zwartkops to claim the title from Stiaan Kriel (Spanjaard Polo).

Pepper and Kriel had a day to forget a Kyalami with both dropping points, although Pepper did manage a win in the second race after Kriel was excluded for a technical infringement. They will be looking to get back to winning ways at Zwartkops. In the two previous visits the series has made to Zwartkops this year Pepper has been the quickest, setting the fastest lap time in all four races, but Kriel has taken three wins to Pepper’s single victory. While Kriel needs to win and hope that the veteran doesn’t have a great day, the fact that the top eight points scoring rounds count toward the championship throws a number of options into the mix. Behind the leading duo Devon Piazza-Musso (Allegiance Polo), Waldie Meintjes (LTR / Marty’s Body & Spray Polo) and Wayne Crous (Delway Polo) occupy third to fifth on the log and all three have shown they are capable of challenging the top two this season. Youngster Delon Thompson (MF Autobody Polo) will be out to regain the form that had him running at the front of the field when the series visited Midvaal in October.

Adrian Wood is the 2017 VW Challenge overall champion

Adrian Wood is the 2017 VW Challenge overall champion

Eleven wins in 16 races made Wood impossible to beat in class B championship. Hi closest rival, Lyle Ramsay (Monroe Racing RSA Polo) won’t be at Zwartkops as he has sold his car in preparation for his move up to class A in 2018. Even though he won’t be at the final round, Ramsay could still claim the runner’s up spot in class B depending on how Nic Clarke (Pozidrive Polo) does on the day. Jacques Smith (Hydra Arc Polo) is hot on Clarke’s heels and could spoil the former champion’s day if he continues his steady run of points-paying finishes. Deon Holliday Jnr (Centworx Polo) and Luan Roos (Strata Drilling Polo) should also be in the mix.

Atkinson has dominated class C this season with 13 wins in the 16 races and setting the fastest lap in all but one of the 16. Shaun Crous (Ancro Building Projects Polo) should claim second in the class C championship but still needs a few points at Zwartkops to make sure that Chris Dale cannot pip him at the post. Gareth Lyke (Gaz-O-Matic Polo) and Alistair Johnstone (WAR Racing Polo) should also be somewhere near the head of the field.

After the slight schedule change at Kyalami, things are back to normal at Zwartkops. Friday is dedicated to practice sessions with qualifying scheduled for 09h20 on Saturday morning. The two 10-lap races should get underway at 13h30 and 16h35.

VW Challenge would like to thank their regular sponsors, ATE Brakes, Dicktator Engine Management Systems, Glasfix Windscreen Repairs, Roofsure and Norbrake, who make the series possible.