With just two events left before the 2018 MotorMart VW Challenge reaches its conclusion, the search for championship points is getting serious. The penultimate event of the season takes place at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 20 October, and, with just four points separating the top three in the overall championship race, the racing is sure to be hard and fast.
After six events and twelve races, Jacques Smith (BPM Engineering Polo) and Rory Atkinson (BHIT Polo) are tied at the top of the championship standings with Stiaan Kriel (Pozidrive/Kalex Polo) just four points back in third place. Deon Holliday Jnr (Monitor Net Polo) leads the chasing pack, but with a 16-point deficit to Kriel, it is hard to see him mounting a serious challenge to the top three without some misfortune befalling one of them. Chris Dale (Blue Belt/Pozidrive Polo) is having his best season since he joined the MotorMart VW Challenge and is only two points adrift of Holliday Jnr. Lyle Ramsay (Monroe Racing RSA/Fuchs Lubricants Polo) remains in sixth place on the overall log, four points ahead of Roberto Joaquim (Cool Freeze/Auto Aircon Polo) with Waldie Meintjes (Dimension Signs Polo) moving up to eighth after a good haul of points last time out at Phakisa.
The fight at the front of Class A at Zwartkops is likely to be between the top four in the class championship. Atkinson and Kriel lead that, but Ramsay and Meintjes have both been regular podium finishers this season and will be aiming for the top step this time out. Others who will be looking to increase their tally of points include Wayne Masters (Performance Masters Polo), Bevin Masters (The CPS Warehouse Polo), Quinton Needham (MotorMart Polo), Craig Gammie (GTR Performance Polo) and Gavin Ross (Norbrake Polo).
After a disappointing start to the season at Midvaal, where he didn’t score a point, Smith has bounced back with six race wins and a couple of other podium positions to open up a 20-point advantage at the top of the Class B standings over Holliday Jnr with Dale just a couple of points further back. They are unlikely to have things all their own way at Zwartkops however. Roberto Joaquim (Cool Freeze/Auto Aircon Polo) will be out to regain some of his early season form and Stuart Mack, who had a great outing at Phakisa in his new Race Technology Polo, should both be in the thick of things with Mohamed Dangor (MotorMart Polo) and Deon Holliday Snr (Centparts Centurion Polo) also capable of running near the head of the field. Francois van Zyl (Jesus Saves Polo), Elna Croeser (Race Technology Polo), Giles Darroch (GRD Motorsport/EV Dynamics Golf) and Shane Kroon (EV Dynamics Polo) will also be fighting for points.
Christiaan de Wet (Polo) and Philip Croeser (ATE Polo) will resume their battle for the 2018 Class C crown. They will be joined by Andre Needham (Polo), Greg Gossman (111 Plumbers Polo) and newcomer Andrea Furci (Polo).
After Friday’s practice sessions, the serious business of qualifying will get underway at 09h50 on Saturday morning. The opening race is scheduled to start at 13h15, with race 2, also a 10-lap affair, on the card at 16h40.