Easy for du Toit in SuperHatch at Zwartkops

After a five-and-a-half month Covid-19 enforced break, the 2020 Car Care Clinic SuperHatch Championship resumed at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 8 August. Jonathan du Toit (Trans Africa Racing) took two comfortable Class A wins but things were much tighter in the other classes. Mel Spurr (Car Care Clinic/AKA Signage VW Polo) and Nic Martin (Rex Diff & Gearbox Peugeot 207) shared the victories in Class B while Shane Forget (4Js Auto Opel Cub) had to fight hard for the win in the second race after running away with Class C in the opening heat.

Jonathan du Toit - Honda Civic
Jonathan du Toit won Class A in both heats

Although qualifying doesn’t determine grid positions in SuperHatch, that is based on the reverse finishing order at the last round, it does give the drivers an opportunity to score a bonus point in the championship. On Saturday morning, du Toit claimed that point in Class A. After a session where positions changed almost every time a car came across the line, Class B went to Werner Pieterse (VW Polo) from Martin and Spurr while Forget took Class C from Freddy Watkins (4Js Auto/Geardown/LNF VW Polo) and Almero van Eck (Taurus VW Polo).

In the opening heat Andre Dannhauser (Pro Auto Rubber Opel Corsa) was the early leader from du Toit with Spurr, who was leading the Class B pack, tucked in behind them. It didn’t take du Toit long to find his way to the front, and from then on he had an easy run to the flag. Dannhauser came home in second with the rest of the Class A field falling by the wayside with a variety of mechanical maladies.

Mel Spurr and Werner Pieterse
Mel Spurr leads Werner Pieterse in the opening heat

In Class B, Spurr had to fight off the attentions of Martin in the early stages but transmission problems brought his challenge to a premature end after a couple of laps. This left Pieterse and Donavan le Roux (Mechanical Masters/N4 Autocraft Honda Civic) to take up the chase. Spurr, however, had things under control at the front and went on to take the Class B win by just over two seconds. Pieterse came home in second with le Roux completing the class podium. Courtney Nicholl (Volkswagen Motorsport VW Polo) had to settle for fourth ahead of Wouter Roos (Car Care Clinic Honda Civic) and Robert Stoltz (Lopec/EBC/Jestik/Episerve Opel Kadett) with Hennie Swanepoel (VW Polo) in seventh.

Forget wasn’t troubled on his way to the Class C win, grabbing the lead on the opening lap and extending it all the way to the finish. Van Eck was a distant second ahead of Craig Priestley (Tactical Fluid Ford Laser), Watkins and George Aldrich (Opel Corsa).

In race two, Dannhauser was again the early leader, but a huge engine blowup ended his race on the second lap leaving Francois Henning (Select Registrations VW Polo) fighting off du Toit at the front of the field. Du Toit found a way past shortly after half-distance and went on to take another comfortable win while Henning’s challenge came to an end when his fuel pump failed.

Le Roux was the early leader in Class B, opening up a gap to the chasing pack that was led by Nicholl with Martin and Spurr in close attendance. Martin didn’t waste any time getting past Nicholl and set about closing the gap to le Roux. Just after the halfway mark Martin made his move on le Roux and was then able to control things from the front to take his third win of the season. Le Roux held on to take second from Spurr with Nicholl not far behind. Roos and Swanepoel ended the heat in fifth and sixth respectively.

Shane Forget, Almero van Eck and Freddy Watkins
Shane Forget leads Almero van Eck with Freddy Watkins in the background

In Class C, van Eck led the way with first race winner Forget battling a bit to work his way through from the back of the reverse grid. He did, however, manage to get past the rest and by lap six van Eck, Watkins and Forget were fighting for the lead, well clear of the rest of the Class C pack. Forget took the lead on the penultimate lap with van Eck and Watkins in second and third. Priestley and Aldrich crossed the line in fourth and fifth.

In the day’s overall standings, du Toit took Class A from Dannhauser and Henning. Spurr’s first heat win followed by third in the second heat were enough to give her overall victory in Class B ahead of le Roux and Nicholl while Class C went to Forget from van Eck and Watkins.

The Car Care Clinic SuperHatch drivers return to Zwartkops for round three of their championship on Saturday, 12 September 2020.