The 2020 VW Challenge gets underway at Red Star Raceway on Saturday, 22 February with some new faces on the grid and a new title sponsor. After a number of years supporting the series, Pozidrive, the specialized food industry belting brand, has increased their involvement for 2020 and has taken over as title sponsor.
With 2019 champion Stiaan Kriel focussing his racing attention elsewhere this year, there will be a new overall champion crowned at the end of the nine-race series. Rory Atkinson (BHIT VW Polo) had a great duel with Kriel all through last year and will be looking to challenge for the overall crown while retaining his Class A title. His main Class A rivals are likely to be Lyle Ramsay (Platinum Wheels/Fuchs Lubricants Polo), Bevin Masters (The CPS Warehouse Polo) and Waldie Meintjes (Allwagen Parts Polo). They certainly aren’t the only drivers capable of challenging for the lead if things go their way. Wayne Masters (Performance Masters Polo) is making a return to the series after a sabbatical and, based on past performance, will certainly be a threat. 2019 Class C champion Dawie van der Merwe piloted his Lee Thompson Racing Polo to overall victory at the final event last year and will be looking to challenge his more experienced rivals. Others who could run close to the front include Gavin Ross (Norbrake/Metal Used Spares Polo), Mohamed Dangor (MotorMart/Creative Ink VW Polo) Chris Dale (Pozidrive VW Polo) and Mike Barbaglia (Polo) while Derick Smalberger (Sabertek Polo) and Andy Gossman (111 Plumbers/Tar & Turf Polo) cannot be discounted.
Class B is always competitive and picking a winner in 2020 is going to be difficult. Stuart Mack (Race Technology SA Polo) and Deon Holliday Jnr (Monitor Net Polo) are almost certain to be near the head of the pack as is Elna Croeser (Race Technology SA Polo). Farhhaan Basha (Motronix Polo) moves up a class and could also be a threat. Regulars Charisse van der Merwe (Polo), Lindsay Clur (Mirage Leisure Polo), Reno van Heerden (Polo) and Robbie da Silva (Motormart/SRK Polo) will also be out on track at the first event of the season. A quartet of newcomers to the series will add an extra dimension to Class B. Robyn Kriel (Motormart/Kalex Polo) will have her husband, 2019 champion Stiaan, in her corner giving her advice which could give her an advantage. Mitch and Ethan Coetzee will be out in their Polos as will Bryce Pillay in his FK Automotive supported example.
A small field in Class C is likely to be led by Philip Croeser (ATE Brakes Polo) and Adriaan de Beer (Zonke WiFi Polo).
The driver will be out on Friday to get their cars set up for demanding Red Star circuit before they make their way out for qualifying at 08h25 on Saturday morning. The first of the two 8-lap races is scheduled to start at 11h42, with the second race slated for 15h36.