The 6th round of the autObarn SuperHatch Championship was held at a sunny Zwartkops Raceway as part of the Sasol Race Day. With the championship battle heating up, all the usual suspects were in attendance and ready to give it all. We also saw two new competitors entering the field – Nathan Lizemore made his debut in a VW Golf, and John Lange brought his beautiful Fiesta ST that he bought only the week before as a road-legal car.
As always qualifying was the first order of the day, but the session was red-flagged after Vernon Stoltz’ Kadett broke the gearbox which sent him off the track and into the wall at turn one. The super-efficient team of marshals got the track cleared in no time, and at the end of the session, Jono du Toit topped the time sheets with an impressive 1:13.250 in his TAR Honda Civic. In class B Nic Martin (RDG Opel Kadett) once again showed why he is the man to beat with a time of 1:16.241, and class C saw rookie Freddy Watkins (VW Polo) on top with a time of 1:21.788.
With the top 5 grid reversal per class from Phakisa’s finishing order, pole position was taken up by Brett Garland in his autObarn/Jonnesway/Total Honda Civic, with Chris Davison next to him in the SuperBoss. Class B saw Samuel Gerber in front in his Sand T Tuning Peugeot 206, with Zane van Zyl (Credit Guarantee Gold MK 2) lined up next to him. Vernon Stoltz managed to get his Jestik/Episerve Opel Kadett repaired, and was in pole position for class C, with Craig Priestley (Tactical Fluid Ford Laser) next to him.
The fifth round of the 2017 autObarn SuperHatch Championship saw the competitors making the journey to the daunting Phakisa Racetrack outside Welkom. With many drivers opting to go with a co-driver for the event, it was shaping up to be an interesting event where a fine balance needs to be found between pace and strategy.
What also became a big point to consider was tyre wear, as the abrasive surface caused many a tyre to die an agonising death in Friday’s practice sessions.
Qualifying started just after 12h00. Setting the pace in Class A was Jeffrey Kruger, who was teamed up with current Class A leader Brett Garland (autObarn/Jonnesway/Total Honda Civic). It was clear that the Kruger/Garland combination was not going to have it all their own way, as they only beat the du Toit brothers (TAR Honda Civic) by 0.1s.
Nic Martin/Shaun Besteman (RDG Opel Kadett) managed the fastest time for Class B, closely followed by Louis Scholtz (Car Care Clinic Honda Civic), who unfortunately developed a problem on the car and could not take part in the race itself.
In Class C Tony Hyams (Building Code Ford Fiesta) celebrated his return to SuperHatch with a pole position, narrowly beating Craig Priestley who was sharing his car with Trevor Stringer. (Tactical Fluid/Citrine Designs Ford Laser)