The top performers in the 2018 autObarn SuperHatch championship received their awards at a function at Zwartkops Raceway recently. Louis Scholtz, who piloted his Car Care Clinic Honda Civic to eight wins in the 15 races that made up the 2018 championship, won both the overall and Class B championships as well as receiving recognition for the four lap records he set during the course of the season. Joining Scholtz on the overall championship podium were Almero van Eck (Monster VW Polo) and Brett Garland (autObarn/Total Honda Civic).
Garland started his season off with a pair of wins at Midvaal in February and was on the podium in almost every race after that on his way to the Class A title. Despite missing a couple of rounds, Jonathan du Toit (Trans Africa Racing Honda Civic) accumulated enough points to take second with Andre Dannhauser, who battled with a motor that didn’t develop the power it should for most of the season, in third place. Chris Davison (HIMOINSA Southern Africa Opel Superboss) had an up-and-down season with engine and gearbox troubles spoiling things after his win at the Phakisa 200, but managed to claim fourth ahead of Tyler Scott (Jestik/Episerve/EBC/Lopec Opel Kadett) and Nic Martin Martin (Rex Diff & Gearbox Opel Kadett), who made the move up to Class A after starting the season in Class B.
Scholtz got better as the season progressed, taking his eight Class B wins in the last ten races and winning the Index of Performance at the Phakisa 200 for good measure. He also set new Class B lap records at Dezzi Raceway, Midvaal, Phakisa and Zwartkops Raceway. Scholtz was pressured for most of the season by Zane van Zyl (Credit Guarantee VW Golf), but a wheel bearing failure at the penultimate round ended his championship challenge. Mel Spurr (G& H Transport/Wealth Avenue/Castrol VW Polo) finished the year in third after regular podium finishes throughout the season. Raais Asmal (Volkswagen Motorsport Polo) did enough in the final round to claim fourth ahead of Trevor Stringer (Citrine Designs/PTM Excellence Peugeot 206), Shane Forget (4J’s Auto Opel Cub) and Alex Marques (Ace Auto VW Polo) who ended the season tied for fifth.
In the early part of the season, Class C was battle between teammates Almero van Eck and Reno van Heerden. The Monster Energy VW Polo duo was neck-and-neck in the standings until the Phakisa 200 when van Eck was able to open a gap after van Heerden suffered mechanical maladies. Van Eck won three of the next four races which gave him a comfortable passage to the title. Behind them, regular podium finishes kept Robert Stoltz (Episerve/Jestick/Lopec Opel Kadett) in the hunt although, despite a win at the final round, he had to settle for third. Freddy Watkins (VW Polo) was the best of the rest, finishing in fourth ahead of Craig Priestley (Tactical Fluid Ford Laser) and Tony Hyams (Building Code Consultants Ford Fiesta).
As always with autObarn SuperHatch, there is also a bit of fun to go with the serious racing. Freddy Watkins got the Hard Luck of the Year award with the Clown of the Year going to Matt Cohen. Zane van Zyl took the Just Just award. Nic Martin, whose Opel blew up spectacularly at the final round, was a deserving winner of the Pissed & Broke award while Jannie Watkins claimed the Gerrie of the Year.
Almero van Eck was judged to be the most improved driver of the year with Shane Forget collecting the Rookie of the Year trophy. Brett Garland was the Index winner while Tyler Scott and Robert Stoltz were joint winners of the Spirit of SuperHatch award. The Top Tech award went to Andre Forget, while Mel Spurr took the trophy for the best-presented car. Louis Scholtz was a popular choice for the Driver of the Year.
The Chairperson’s Award, which is the only trophy that Mel Spurr gets to decide on without any input from anyone else, was awarded jointly to Alex Marques and Tyler Scott.
The autObarn SuperHatch brigade will be back on track for the first round of the 2019 championship on Saturday, 9 March at Zwartkops Raceway.
Final Championship Standings
|2||Almero van Eck||128|
|4||Zane van Zyl||106|
|5||Reno van Heerden||98|
|6||Jonathan du Toit||93|
|2||Jonathan du Toit||93|
|2||Zane van Zyl||106|
|1||Almero van Eck||128|
|2||Reno van Heerden||98|