At the opening event of the season, both Lyle Ramsay (Monroe Racing RSA/Fuchs Polo) and Jacques Smith (BPM Engineering Polo) left Midvaal Raceway disappointed with the start they had to their campaigns. Four months later, they left the same venue much happier after taking overall victories in their respective classes at the fourth round of the 2018 MotorMart VW Challenge held on Saturday, 2 June. Christiaan de Wet (MotorMart Klerksdorp Polo) took the overall win in class C after winning both heats.
It was still chilly when the cars went out in the morning qualifying session, but Stiaan Kriel (Pozidrive/Kalex Polo) didn’t let a cold track worry him, claiming the class A pole from Rory Atkinson (BHIT Polo). Ramsay headed the second row of the grid with Keagan Masters (Performance Masters Polo) alongside him. Bevin Masters (The CPS Warehouse Polo) and Quintin Needham (MotorMart Klerksdorp Polo) rounded out the top six.
In class B Roberto Joaquim (Cool Freeze/Auto Aircon Polo) could only manage a couple of quick laps before his clutch gave in, but it was good enough to take pole from Deon Holliday Jnr (Monitor Net Polo) with Smith and Chris Dale (Blue Belt/Pozidrive Polo) just behind them. Deon Holliday Snr (Nathan’s Motorsport Polo) and Mohamed Dangor (MotorMart Klerksdorp Polo) filled the third row.
Andre Needham (MotorMart Klerksdorp Polo), making a welcome return to the MotorMart VW Challenge after a long break, was the quickest of the class C brigade, taking pole from Philip Croeser (ATE Polo) with Andy Gossman (111 Plumbers Polo) and de Wet not far behind.
Kriel used his pole position to full advantage, taking the lead from the start and then controlling things from the front on his way to a comfortable win in the first race. Behind him, Ramsay and Atkinson were involved in a race-long battle that ended with Atkinson crossing the line in front of the Monroe supported car. Their positions were, however, reversed after the race officials decided that Atkinson’s pass on Ramsay was more robust than it should have been. Nic Clarke (Avo Performance Suspension Polo) worked his way up from seventh on the grid to take fourth with Keagan Masters getting the better of Bevin Masters to take fifth.
Pole sitter Joaquim managed to get his clutch repaired between qualifying and the start of the first race, but his car developed a misfire on the way to the grid, ending any chance of a points-paying finish. His misfortune allowed Smith to take the lead from the lights and come home comfortable ahead of Holliday Jnr, who had Dale in his wheel tracks. Dangor claimed fourth ahead of Holliday Snr and Shane Kroon (EV Dynamics Polo).
Needham led for a large part of the class C race but de Wet found a way through in the closing stages as Needham lost power to take the win. Gossman and Croeser were third and fourth respectively.
In race 2 Atkinson and Kriel were comfortably quicker than the rest of the field and crossed the line in that order but both of them were penalized 10 seconds for exceeding the track limits which dropped them down to sixth and seventh. This left Ramsay as the class A winner from Keagan Masters and Waldie Meintjes (Marty’s Panelbeaters Polo). Bevin Masters and Nic Clarke were classified fourth and fifth.
Smith and Dale fought for the class B lead in the early stages of the race, but Smith was able to eke out an advantage in the latter part of the heat to take his second win of the day. Holliday Jnr joined them on the podium with Dangor taking another fourth place. Joaquim solved the misfire in his car and worked his way up from the back of the grid to take fifth ahead of Holliday Snr.
Class C again went to de Wet, this time from Croeser with Needham and Gossman in third and fourth.
In the overall classification, Ramsay took class A ahead of Kriel and Keagan Masters. Smith’s two class B wins ensured he took the silverware in his class with Dale and Holliday Jnr joining him on the podium while in class C de Wet was followed by Needham and Croeser.
The MotorMart VW Challenge now makes its way to the KwaZulu-Natal south coast where the fifth round of the championship takes place at Dezzi Raceway on Saturday, 11 August.