Jonathan du Toit (Trans Africa Racing Honda Civic) kept his winning streak at Zwartkops Raceway going when he took both autObarn SuperHatch wins in the third round of the 2018 championship on Saturday, 12 May. Louis Scholtz (Car Care Clinic Honda Civic) took the class B win in the second race after losing out to Zane van Zyl (Credit Guarantee VW Golf) in the opening heat. Tony Hyams (Building Code Consultants Ford Fiesta) and Reno van Heerden (KWC VW Polo) shared the class C victories.
In a stark contrast to the last time the autObarn SuperHatch brigade was at Zwartkops, the morning qualifying took place on a dry track although the result was similar with du Toit claiming the point on offer for the fastest class A time. He was followed by Brett Garland (autObarn / Total / Sabat Honda Civic) with Werner Pieterse (Scarlet Sun IDG VW Golf) third quickest. Class B championship leader van Zyl was half a second quicker than Donavan le Roux (Mechanical Masters Honda Civic). Sandro Godinho (Bidvest Panalpina Logistics VW Golf) ended the session third quickest. Almero van Eck (Nosler VW Polo) set the benchmark time in class C ahead of Robert Stoltz (Jetstik/Episerve Opel Kadett) and Hyams.
Pieterse was the early class A leader in the opening race, closely followed by Garland and du Toit with Andre Dannhauser (Pro Auto Rubber / Jetstik Opel Corsa) and Chris Davison (Precision Race Technologies Opel Superboss) not far behind. Garland and du Toit soon got past Pieterse and just a couple of laps later du Toit took the lead for the first time. Pieterse, at that stage, was still keeping a watching brief in third place, but mechanical problems sidelined him shortly afterwards. Dannhauser also fell victim to mechanical maladies that brought his race day to a premature end shortly after half-distance. Du Toit was able to slowly pull away from Garland, taking the win by almost two seconds. Davison took third place ahead of Shaun Smith (Pretoria Noord Toyota RunX) and Floris Stopforth (VW Polo).
Mel Spurr (G & H Transport/Castrol VW Polo) grabbed the early advantage in class B but could not keep van Zyl and Scholtz behind her. She did, however, manage to hang on to take the final podium position. Le Roux took fourth ahead of Godinho and Shane Forget (4Js Auto Opel Cub).
In class C, Hyams, van Eck and van Heerden spent the entire race within about a second of each other with Hyams in front when it counted. Van Eck was half a second back with van Heerden a further seven-tenths adrift. Stoltz led the chasing pack with Juan van der Walt (Building Code Consultants Ford Fiesta) and Craig Priestley (Tactical Fluid Ford Laser) rounding out the top six.
Race two had hardly got going when the red flags came out after van Eck and van der Walt came together in turn three on the opening lap. After a short break while the Zwartkops marshals removed the stricken cars and repaired the damaged tyre barrier, the race was re-started and again it was Garland and du Toit fighting for the lead in class A. Once again, Garland held the early advantage, but once du Toit got into the lead he was able to open up a slight gap and take another win. Davison again took third with Stopforth in fourth.
Scholtz grabbed the early lead in class B and held it until the flag with van Zyl having to settle for second. Spurr claimed her second podium of the day after holding off Godinho in the final stages of the race. Forget and Trevor Stringer (PTM Excellence / Glass National Peugeot 206) ended in fifth and sixth respectively.
With two of his likely challengers out of the running, van Heerden took full advantage and totally dominated the second class C race, taking the win by over seven seconds from Hyams with Priestly in third. Barry Viljoen (Robust Machines VW Golf) took fourth ahead of Freddy Watkins (Top Lock / Pro Lock VW Polo) with Stoltz in sixth.
In addition to the three regular classes that were racing on the day, Matt Cohen, who lost the use of his legs in a freestyle motocross accident a number of years ago, was out on track in a specially adapted VW Polo. The car he was driving was the one driven by Willie Hepburn in the VW Celebrity Challenge at Zwartkops in January. Cohen had a very impressive circuit racing debut, his fastest lap time in both races was quicker than the quickest lap times set in the Celebrity Challenge.
In the overall results, two wins gave du Toit class A victory from Garland and Davison. Class B went the way of Scholtz with van Zyl and Spurr joining him on the podium. Van Heerden took class C ahead of Hyams and Priestley.
The autObarn SuperHatch drivers’ next outing is at Midvaal Raceway where the fourth round of the 2018 championship takes place on 2 June.