Jonathan du Toit (Trans Africa Racing Honda Civic) and Brett Garland (autObarn/Incco/Sabat Honda Civic) thrilled the large Zwartkops crowd as they battled it out at the front of both races in the opening round of the 2019 Car Care Clinic SuperHatch championship on Saturday, 9 March. Despite Garland trying everything he knew, du Toit emerged on top in both heats. The racing in the lower classes was just as intense. Nic Martin (Rex Diff & Gearbox Peugeot 207) managed to take both wins in Class B while Robert Stoltz (Jestik/Episerve/EBC Opel Kadett) and Jacques van der Zee (Tugwell Tooling Design Citroen C2) shared the Class C victories. Christian Goosen (Dialogic Management Ford Figo) took both Class D heats.
In the morning qualifying session, du Toit was comfortably quickest, just over a second quicker than Garland with Andre de Lange (Roofsure Audi A3) not far behind. In Class B Wouter Roos (Nathan’s Motorsport VW Polo) led the way from Martin and Matt Cohen (VW/Dunlop/BHIT VW Polo). Van der Zee led the Class C brigade, closely followed by Freddy Watkins (VW Polo) and Stoltz. Goosen claimed Class D.
Garland grabbed the early lead in the opening race, but it was not long before he had du Toit all over his back bumper looking for a way past. Garland managed to stay in front until the half-way mark when du Toit found a way through. Du Toit didn’t have things his all his own way even though he had the lead, with Garland putting him under constant pressure as he tried to find a way back to the front, but du Toit took the win by just over three-tenths of a second. Behind the leading duo, de Lange and Tyler Scott (Episerve/Jestik/Lopec Opel Kadett TS) spent the latter stages of the race in a fight for the final podium position. This after de Lange dropped back at the start. Scott kept in front to take third with de Lange just half-a-second behind. 2018 champion, Louis Scholtz (Car Care Clinic Honda Civic) came home in fifth with Karl Stolz (Pretoria Noord Toyota Etios) in sixth.
Zane van Zyl (Credit Guarantee VW Golf) was the early leader in Class B from Martin and Roos, although the pole sitter’s race came to a premature end when his bonnet flew open and smashed his windscreen. Martin got past van Zyl on the third lap and was slowly able to pull away to take the win. Cohen claimed the final podium spot with Mel Spurr (iTre Cugini/ATT VW Polo) in a somewhat lonely fourth. Bryce Pillay (VW Motorsport Polo) and Shane Forget (4J’s Auto Opel Cub) rounded out the top six.
Class C also provided an intriguing battle for the lead with van der Zee leading the way in his Citroen for about two-thirds of the race, when Stoltz found a way through. On the next lap, Juan van der Walt (Building Code Consultants Ford Fiesta) demoted van der Zee to third but couldn’t catch Stoltz and had to settle for second. Watkins was next up in fourth with Marc Giltrow (SBK Official Eyewear Ford Fiesta) and Marius Rossouw (Kanga Signs/Building Code Consultants Opel Corsa) in fifth and sixth respectively.
In Class D, Goosen had a comfortable win after Nolan Fleetwood had to retire his VW Passat.
The top five finishers in the first race line up in reverse order on the grid for the second race. This put Scholtz on pole, but it didn’t take long before he was passed, first by de Lange and then Scott, Garland and du Toit in rapid succession. It looked like de Lange had things under control at the head of the field, but mechanical maladies slowed his progress and he dropped down the field. His misfortune allowed du Toit and Garland to resume their battle at the front of the field with du Toit again taking a hard-fought win. Scott claimed his second podium finish of the day with Scholtz in fourth ahead of Stolz and Shaun Smith (Pretoria Noord Toyota RunX).
Cohen was the early leader in Class B. he had Spurr, Martin and Roos in close attendance. A mistake by Cohen dropped him down to fourth with Martin taking his second win of the day from Roos and Spurr. Rudi Kronstrom (Goldwagen Krugersdorp VW Golf) and Ishmael Baloyi (Trans Africa Racing Honda Civic) ended in fifth and sixth.
Giltrow led the way in Class C but could not keep his challengers behind him, slowly dropping down the field to eventually finish fourth behind van der Zee, Watkins and Stoltz. Rossouw finished in fifth, just ahead of van der Walt.
Fleetwood’s Passat again let him down, leaving Goosen to take Class D.
In the day’s Overall standings, du Toit took Class A from Garland and Scott with Martin taking Class B from Cohen and Spurr. Stoltz claimed Class C from van der Zee and Watkins with Goosen taking the Class D silverware.
The Car Care Clinic SuperHatch drivers now head to Midvaal Raceway in Meyerton, where the second round of the 2019 championship takes place on Saturday, 13 April.