A number of drivers will be hoping that the luck of the Irish will be on their side when a huge field of about 40 of them head for Zwartkops Raceway on St Patrick’s Day, Saturday 17 March, for the second round of the 2018 MotorMart VW Challenge.
At the season-opening event at Midvaal Raceway, both Stiaan Kriel (Pozidrive / Kalex Polo) and Roberto Joaquim (Cool Freeze / Auto Aircon Polo) had perfects starts to their seasons, winning both races in their respective classes and taking the bonus points on offer for pole position and fastest race laps, to jointly lead the overall championship standings. They are followed by Rory Atkinson (BHIT Polo) and Chris Dale (Pozidrive Polo) who both left Midvaal with two second places in their classes. Quinton Needham (MotorMart Polo) and John Johnstone (Golf) complete the top six in the overall standings.
Kriel will be hoping he will be able to dominate class A again at Zwartkops but he is likely to face a far sterner challenge than at the season opener. Atkinson was his closest at Midvaal, but he should be joined by Lyle Ramsay (Monroe Racing RSA Polo), who had brake problems, and Nic Clarke (Avo Performance Suspension Polo), who suffered a wheel bearing failure in the second race. Based on his performance at the season opener, Needham is almost certain to be a threat as well, with Waldie Meintjes (Marty’s Panel Beaters Polo), Wayne Masters (Performance Masters Polo) and brothers Wayne (Delway Trading Polo) and Shaun Crous (Ancro Building Projects Polo) all capable of mixing it with the front-runners.
While he walked away from the opening event with a full-house of points and the class B championship lead, Joaquim didn’t have things all his own way. In the second race particularly, Dale wasn’t going to hand him the win and Joaquim knew that he had been in a fight. The pair are likely to resume their battle at Zwartkops. Jacques Smith (BPM Engineering Polo) will be hoping for a bit of the Irish luck to come his way, a misfire in his car put paid to his chances of mounting a serious challenge at Midvaal, but he certainly has the speed to be at the sharp end of the field. Others who could be in the hunt include Johnstone (Zontes Golf), Mohamed Dangor (MotorMart Klerksdorp Polo) and the father and son pairing of Deon (Nathan’s Motorsport Polo) and Deon Holliday Jnr (Monitor Net Polo), who will be back in the class B field after missing the opening event.
Most of the new class C cars are still being fabricated so the field is likely to remain small for the second round. Philip Croeser (ATE Polo) and Christiaan de Wet (MotorMart Polo) should resume the battle they started at Midvaal with the possibility of a few others joining in the fray if their cars are ready in time.
As usual, Friday will be dedicated to practice sessions, with things getting serious on Saturday morning. Qualifying is scheduled to start at 09h00 with the first of the two 10-lap races at 12h15. Race 2 should get underway at 15h45.
The VW Challenge would like to acknowledge the valuable support of their sponsors, MotorMart, ATE Brakes, Dicktator Engine Management Systems, Yaskawa, BPM Engineering and Norbrake who make the series possible.