autObarn SuperHatch - 2017The SuperHatch brigade headed off to Midvaal Raceway for their 8th round of the championship. Apart from the fact that a large number of the competitors had never raced there before, the race would be run in an anti-clockwise direction for the first time in SuperHatch history.

Qualifying started off early, and the regular names topped the time sheets. Jono du Toit (TAR Honda Civic) lead the charge in class A, followed by Brett Garland (autObarn/Jonnesway/Total Honda Civic) and Chris Davison (Opel SuperBoss). Class B saw Nic Martin (RDG/Care Care Clinic Opel Kadett) posting the fastest time, followed by Zane van Zyl (Credit Guarantee VW Golf mkII) and Andre Dannhauser (Pro Auto Rubber / Jestik Opel Corsa). In class C it was once again Shaun Besteman (RDG VW Golf mkI) setting the pace, followed by Alex Marques (Aces Spares VW Polo) and Barry Viljoen (BB Diagnostics Opel Kadett).

 

Race 1

With the grid reversal based on the results of the last race at Red Star Raceway, class A’s front row saw Reno van Heerden on pole (Hot Wheels Peugeot 206), with Tyler Scott next to him (Jestik/Lopec Opel Kadett TS). The class B field would be lead away by Trevor Stringer (Peugeot 206) and Ishmael Baloyi (TAR Honda Civic), whilst class C saw Vernon Stoltz (Lopec/Jestik Opel Kadett) on pole, with Barry Viljoen next to him. Baloyi had however picked up technical issues in qualifying, and had to pack it in for the day, leaving his spot vacant on the grid.

When the lights went out the field managed to get off the line without incident, and by the time things settled down by turn 2, Tyler Scott was leading the field. Brett Garland was a man on a mission, and after his excellent launch managed to get his nimble Civic positioned to get past Scott’s Kadett and was leading the charge by turn 4 and down the back straight. Jono du Toit had in the interim also cleared the some of the class A field, and was now also working his way past Scott and started chasing Garland down. In class B Nic Martin had an excellent start and was leading by turn 2. Stringer and Dannhauser were battling for position behind him, which opened a gap for van Zyl to slip through which he grabbed without hesitation. Besteman made the best of the opening lap in class C, and stormed to the front in no time. Juan van der Walt (Ford Fiesta) and Barry Viljoen were battling it out for 2nd position, whilst Marques had fallen all the way down to 7th on the opening lap, fighting it out with Vernon Stoltz (Opel Kadett), Craig Priestley (Ford Laser) and Marius Rossouw (Opel Corsa).

As the race developed further, du Toit managed to squeeze his way past Garland and started putting in excellent lap times to try and open up a gap. Behind them van Heerden and Scott were fighting it out for third position, but a slight bump damaged the radiator of van Heerden’s Peugeot which eventually ended his challenge. Chris Davison and Mel Spurr (VW Polo) were battling with underpowered cars and were losing ground, falling into the clutches of several class B cars. Zane van Zyl managed to grab the lead from Martin in class B, and was doing an excellent job of defending it. Louis Scholtz (Car Care Clinic Honda Civic) had in the meanwhile made his way up to third position, and behind him Sandro Godinho (Bidvest VW Golf)  was doing all he could to keep Dannhauser behind him after a smart passing maneuver. They eventually swopped position again, and Dannhauser started chasing Scholtz down. Martin suddenly encountered bad luck when his bonnet pins came loose at the end of the back straight. The bonnet started lifting, and expecting the bonnet to fly open he elected to use the runoff rather than try going through the fast turn with a bonnet that might shoot open. Thankfully the original bonnet-latch held the bonnet, and he set about making up the lost ground. In class C Marques had managed to move up to fourth position and Viljoen now had to concentrate his efforts on keeping the Polo at bay.

At the end of the 10 lap race, du Toit had managed to secure the win ahead of Garland, with Scott taking third in class A. Zane van Zyl had a comfortable win in class B, followed by Scholtz in second, and Dannhauser in third. Shaun Besteman secured the win in class C, with Juan van der Walt in an impressive second place, while Viljoen managed to keep Marques at bay to secure third position.

Race 2

The grid saw Mel Spurr on pole with Davison next to her for race 2. In class B it was Godinho on pole with Martin next to him, and in class C it was Hyams on pole with Marques to keep him company. When the race started, chaos erupted in class C when Besteman’s excellent launch saw him sandwiched between van der Walt and Viljoen. Contact between van der Walt and Besteman saw Besteman spinning out into the infield, where a tyre climbed off the rim and saw an end to Besteman’s race. Up front in class A Garland had worked his way into the lead quite smartly, with du Toit right on his tail. In class B Dannhauser had made the most of his start to get into the lead of the class, but as the cars went down the back straight his lack of straight-line speed saw van Zyl pass him, followed by Martin. Scholtz was now also right on Dannhauser’s tail, looking to continue their battle from the first race. Also in class B Godinho and Stringer were engaged in a close race. Marques made the most of the gap he was afforded, and took the lead in class C. Behind him the two Fiestas of van der Walt and Hyams were fighting it out for second position, whilst Vernon Stoltz, Viljoen, Rossouw and Priestley were engaged in various battles. Robert Stoltz was battling with serious handling issues in his class B Opel Kadett, and had no real choice other than to nurse the car home as best he could.

In the latter part of the race Garland had still managed to keep du Toit at bay, but a brave move at the end of the back straight saw him eventually take the lead. Van Zyl was still in the lead of the class B battle, with Martin hounding constantly. Scott had now fallen into the clutches of the Dannhauser/Scholtz battle, and it made for an excellent show. His TS was blindingly quick in a straight line, but was battling in the bends. Scholtz’s car had a fair lick of speed in the straights, whilst Dannhauser had the better handling car. After a long battle Scholtz finally passed Dannhauser to take third position, but he could not afford any mistakes at any point. Marques had by now opened up a decent gap over the rest of the class C field, whilst van der Walt and Hyams were still battling it out.

When the flag finally dropped it was du Toit who crossed the line first, with Garland hot on his heels, and Scott took the final spot on the podium for class A. In class B van Zyl completed the double win, with Martin in second position. Scholtz successfully kept Dannhauser at bay to secure a well-deserved third position. Marques made no mistakes to secure his first win in class C, while van der Walt (2nd) and Hyams (3rd) completed the podium.

Overall results:

Class A                  1st Jono du Toit; 2nd Brett Garland; 3rd Tyler Scott

Class B                  1st Zane van Zyl; 2nd Nic Martin; 3rd Louis Scholtz

Class C                  1st Alex Marques; 2nd Juan van der Walt; 3rd Tony Hyams

The next round of the SuperHatch championship will be held at the impressive Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. This event will sadly see the SuperHatch category only compete in one race, so the drivers who are still looking to improve their championship standings will be giving it all they have.

Hope to see you there!

Race report by Andre Dannhauser

Photos by Racepics.co.za

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