Over 30 MotorMart VW Challenge competitors made their way down to Dezzi Raceway for the fifth round of their 2018 championship, held on 10 & 11 August. Once the dust had settled at the end of an eventful weekend’s racing it was Stiaan Kriel (Pozidrive/Kalex Polo) and Keagan Masters (Performance Masters Polo) who shared the class A wins, with Deon Holliday Jnr (Monitor Net Polo) and Jacques Smith (BPM Engineering Polo) each taking a win in class B while Andy Gossman (Technikon Auto Spares Polo) made no mistakes on his way to both class C wins.
With a huge entry for the event, the MotorMart VW Challenge drivers took to the track late on Friday afternoon for their qualifying session, as opposed to their normal Saturday morning slot. Kriel was the quickest of the class A cars in the final practice session and kept that going into qualifying, taking pole position from Masters by just over quarter of a second. Rory Atkinson (BHIT Polo) and Nic Clarke (Avo Performance Suspension Polo) occupied the second row of the grid, separated by just five-thousandths of a second. Bevin Masters (The CPS Warehouse Polo) headed the third row of the grid with Lyle Ramsay (Monroe Racing RSA/Fuchs Lubricants Polo) alongside him. Wayne Masters (Performance Masters Polo) and Quinton Needham (MotorMart Polo) rounded out the top eight.
In class B, just eight-tenths separated the top six, Holliday Jnr leading the way from Luan Roos (Polo), Smith and Deon Holliday Snr (Centparts Centurion Polo). Series sponsor Mohamed Dangor (MotorMart VW Polo) kept the good form that he showed last time out at Midvaal going with a fine fifth place, ahead of Stuart Mack (Race Technology Polo) with John Johnstone (Zontes Golf) and Chris Dale (Blue Belt/Pozidrive Polo). Gossman led the way in class C, closely followed by Christiaan de Wet (MotorMart Polo) and Andre Needham, who was a late replacement for Robbie da Silva in the other MotorMart Polo.
In the opening race, Kriel and Keagan Masters battled for the lead with Kriel holding the early advantage. Masters was able to find a way through, but his lead didn’t last long as contact between the pair resulted in a puncture and retirement for Masters. Kriel went on to take the win from Clarke who got past Atkinson in the closing stages of the race. Ramsay finished fourth ahead of Wayne Masters, who just managed to hold off Mike MacGregor (Grange / 3M Polo). Bevin Masters and Craig Gammie (GTR Performance Polo) finished in seventh and eighth.
Holliday Jnr led the way in class B, leaving Roos and Smith to fight over the remaining podium positions. Smith got past Roos just before the half-way mark, but the move was later deemed as over robust, the subsequent penalty dropping Smith down to fourth behind Dangor and Dale who joined Holliday Jnr on the podium. Roberto Joaquim (Cool Freeze/Auto Aircon Polo), who didn’t make it out in qualifying after a crash during practice, worked his way up from the back of the grid to finish in fifth ahead of Mack. Lindsay Clur (Mirage Leisure Polo) just managed to hold off series newcomer Giles Darroch (Golf) to take seventh.
Gossman and de Wet were never separated by more than a couple of car lengths for the entire 10-lap race, but Gossman managed to stay in front to take the win. Andre Needham finished in third ahead of Philip Croeser (ATE Polo).
In race 2, Keagan Masters grabbed the lead from the start and was still in front when the red flags came out bringing the race to a premature end after Sayen Moodley rolled his Fastrak Racing Polo. Luckily Moodley was OK although the same cannot be said for his car. While Masters was largely untroubled out front, a three-way battle for the minor podium placings between Clarke, Kriel and Atkinson was raging behind him. This came to an end when contact between Clarke and Kriel ended both their races and left Atkinson to take second. Wayne Masters joined his son on the podium when he held off Quinton Needham and Ramsay to take third. Bevin Masters, Marc Ackermann (Evolution Group / Raleigh Polo) and Mike Barbaglia (Litemart Polo) rounded out the top eight.
After his opening race penalty, Smith was in no mood to be denied in the second race, grabbing the class B lead from the start and taking a comfortable win. He was followed over the line by Holliday Jnr with Joaquim in third. Dale ended in fourth ahead of Mack and Johnstone with Luke MacGregor (Grange / 3M Polo) just getting the better of Dangor to claim seventh.
Class C was again a battle between Gossman and de Wet, with Gossman managing to keep the MotorMart car behind him. Croeser took third.
There are a number of pending incident reports that must still be looked at, so these results could still change.
The MotorMart VW Challenge now heads for Phakisa Freeway in the Free State where round six of the 2018 championship will be decided on Saturday, 15 September.