After a break of almost two months, a large contingent of autObarn SuperHatch competitors will make their way back to Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 12 May for the third round of their 2018 championship. Last time out conditions at the 2.4 km circuit were tricky after morning rain showers but the current forecast for the weekend indicates almost no chance of rain.
With two rounds complete, Almero van Eck (Nosler VW Polo) has yet to finish off the top two steps of the podium and he leads the overall championship standings. He doesn’t have much of a margin though. Zane van Zyl (Credit Guarantee/Rim Africa VW Golf) is just three points back with Robert Stoltz (Jetsik/Episerve Opel Kadett) a further five points back. Brett Garland (autObarn/Total Honda Civic), who won both class A heats at the opening event, is in a three-way tie for fourth place just a point behind Stoltz. He is joined by Louis Scholtz (Car Care Clinic Honda Civic) and Trevor Stringer (PTM Excellence/Glass National/TMF Peugeot 206).
While Garland leads the way in class A, he also does not have much of an advantage. Werner Pieterse (Scarlet Sun/Valhalla Spares VW Golf) who shared the Zwartkops wins with Jonathan du Toit (Trans Africa Racing Honda Civic), is just two points behind him. Andre Dannhauser (Pro Auto Rubber/Jetstik Opel Corsa) and Alex Marques (Ace Auto VW Polo) are in third and fourth on the class A championship log. Both have had mixed fortunes so far this season and will be looking for better luck at Zwartkops this time out. Fifth place is occupied by du Toit and he will be looking to move up the table after missing the opening round. Shaun Smith (Pretoria Noord Toyota/MLT 926 Toyota RunX), Nic Martin (Rex Diff & Gearbox Opel Kadett) and Tyler Scott (Jetsik/Episerve/Lopec Opel Kadett) will all be out to improve their standing in the championship. Chris Davidson (Precision Race Technologies Opel Superboss) could also challenge the leaders.
Six points separate leader van Zyl, and Scholtz and Stringer who are tied for second on the class B log. Martin, who has moved up to class A, remains in fourth after his double win in the opening round, but he is likely to drop down the table after Zwartkops. Shane Forget (4Js Auto Opel Cub) is next up with Mel Spurr (G& H Transport/Castrol VW Polo) and Francis Aldrich (Peugeot 206) hot on his heels.
Two second places at the opening round followed by two wins at the second have given van Eck an eight-point lead over Stoltz in the race for the class C title. Van Heerden, who won both races at Midvaal, is three points further back in third. Tony Hyams (Building Code Consultants Ford Fiesta) sits in fourth just two points ahead of Craig Priestley (Tactical Fluid Ford Laser) and Juan van der Walt (Building Code Consultants Ford Fiesta) who are tied for fifth.
As usual, there will be a number of practice sessions on Friday. The 15-minuteualifying and racing gets underway on Saturday. The 15-minute qualifying session gets underway at 10h15 on Saturday morning with the first of the two 8-lap races on the card at 13h05. The second race is scheduled to start at 16h05.