Keagan Masters dominated proceedings when he made a return to his front wheel drive roots at the third round of the 2019 MotorMart VW Challenge series, held at Phakisa Freeway on Saturday, 8 June. Masters, who is normally found at the wheel of a Volkswagen Jetta in the GTC championship these days, put his Performance Masters Polo on pole position before going on to take both Class A victories. Stiaan Kriel (MotorMart/Kalex Polo) claimed both Class B heats with Farhaan Basha (Motronix Polo) taking the Class C wins.
In Friday afternoon’s qualifying session, Keagan Masters was just over a second quicker than his uncle Bevin (The CPS Warehouse Polo) with championship leader Rory Atkinson (BHIT Polo) just over a quarter of a second further back in third. Waldie Meintjes (Allwagen Parts Polo) was next up ahead of Lyle Ramsay who had been quickest for most of the day, but his Monroe Racing/Fuchs Lubricants Polo developed a misfire in the qualifying session. Mohamed Dangor (MotorMart Polo) rounding out the top six.
Kriel led the way from Stuart Mack (Race Technology SA Polo) in Class B with Deon Holliday Jnr (Monitor Net Polo) and Jacques Smith (Dirt Nurse Polo) occupying the second row of the grid. Deon Holliday Snr (Centparts Centurion Polo) just got the better of Charisse van der Merwe (M&M Auto Clinic Polo) to claim fifth.
Basha was comfortably the quickest of the Class C brigade, taking pole position from Elna Croeser (ATE Polo), Andy Gossman (Allwagen Parts Polo) and Zaeem Goolam (Dicktator/Praga Karts Polo). Reno van Heerden (TAURUS Polo) ended the session in fifth ahead of Dawie van der Merwe (Lee Thompson Racing Polo).
Keagan Masters wasn’t able to get the start he wanted from pole position and had dropped down to fourth behind Bevin Masters, Ramsay and Atkinson by the time the closely bunched pack reached the second corner. It wasn’t long before the younger Masters moved into the lead though and, despite a serious late race challenge from Bevin, was able to hang on and take the win. Ramsay, who led for a couple of laps in the early stages, suffered a recurrence of the misfire that spoilt his qualifying session but was able to hang on to third ahead of Atkinson with Meintjes not far behind in fifth. JP van der Walt (Platinum Wheels Polo) held off Dangor to end in sixth while Ronaldo Verolini brought his Polo home in eighth.
Kriel and Smith had a great battle at the front of the Class B field after Mack was left stranded with a broken gearbox linkage. Kriel lead the way in the early stages before Smith found a way through. A couple of laps later Kriel reclaimed the lead and was able to hang on to take the win by less than a quarter of a second. Deon Holliday Jnr had an uneventful drive to third ahead of a four-way battle for fourth that eventually went the way of Graeme Nathan (Polo). He was followed over the line by Deon Holliday Snr, Chris Dale (Blue Belt/Pozidrive Polo) and van der Merwe. Francois van Zyl (Jesus Saves Polo) occupied the final points paying position.
Basha took a lights-to-flag win in Class C although he didn’t have an easy path to victory. He was chased all the way by Gossman with Croeser keeping a watching brief in third. Dawie van der Merwe took fourth ahead of van Heerden and Goolam.
Atkinson was the early leader in the second race, but Keagan Masters took the lead at about one-third distance and was able to pull away and take a comfortable win. Atkinson hung on to second with Bevin Masters joining them on the podium. Ramsay had to settle for fourth ahead of Meintjes with van der Walt again ahead of Dangor. Mike Barbaglia brought his Litemart Polo home in eighth.
Kriel has a relatively easy run to the Class B win in the second race with most of the action taking place behind him. Holliday Jnr led the chasing pack from Nathan and Smith in the early stages before Smith got past Nathan and set off after Holliday. Smith was able to catch the Monitor Net car but was unable to find a way through before the flag came out and had to settle for third. Nathan held off Holliday Snr to take fourth while Mack, with his gearbox linkage repaired, fought his way through from the back of the grid to claim sixth. Dale and Piet Potgieter (Nathan’s Motorsport Polo) rounded out the top eight.
Basha claimed his second Class C win of the day, pulling away at the front while his rivals fought over the remaining podium positions. Gossman led that battle over the line with van der Merwe in third ahead of Croeser. Van Heerden and Goolam were again fifth and sixth respectively.
Keagan Masters claimed the overall win in Class A on the day from Bevin Masters and Atkinson. Class B went to Kriel from Smith and Holliday Jnr while Class C want to Basha with Gossman and Croeser joining him on the podium.
The MotorMart VW Challenge brigade will be back in action in just three weeks when the fourth round of the 2019 championship takes place at Zwartkops Raceway on 29 June.