Hard fought autObarn SuperHatch win for du Toit at Zwartkops

Jonathan du Toit and Brett Garland
Jonathan du Toit and Brett Garland spent much of the first race side-by-side

Jonathan du Toit (Trans Africa Racing Honda Civic) had to fight hard for his overall win at the second round of the 2018 autObarn SuperHatch championship at Zwartkops on Saturday, 17 March. While du Toit didn’t have things all his own way in class A, Louis Scholtz (Car Care Clinic Honda Civic) had a far easier path to the class B win as did Almero van Eck (Nosler VW Polo) in class C.

A very wet qualifying saw du Toit completely dominate the session, taking the point on offer for the fastest time from Andre Dannhauser (Pro Auto Rubber/Jetstik Opel Corsa) and Brett Garland (autObarn/Total Honda Civic). Scholtz was quickest in class B, half a second ahead of Ishmael Baloyi (Trans Africa Racing Honda Civic) and Francis Aldrich (Peugeot 206). The class C brigade was led by Tony Hyams (Building Code Consultants Ford Fiesta). He was followed by Robert Stoltz (Jetstik/Episerve Opel Kadett) and Freddy Watkins (Top Lock/Pro Lock VW Polo).

By the time the first race started the rain had stopped falling and the track was largely dry with just a couple of wet patches to catch out the unwary. It didn’t take long for the expected duel between du Toit and Garland to develop at the head of the class A field, they were at the front by the end of the second lap and spent the race within half a second of each other, often running side-by-side, until the penultimate lap. With neither of them willing to give way, the inevitable contact happened, resulting in them spinning off to opposite sides of the track. Werner Pieterse (Scarlet Sun/Valhalla Spares VW Golf), who had spent most of the race being entertained by the dice directly in front of him, was able to take advantage and grab the win. Dannhauser claimed fourth ahead of Alex Marques (Ace Auto VW Polo) and Shaun Smith (PTA Noord Toyota RunX).

Louis Scholtz fights off the attention of Zane van Zyl
Louis Scholtz fights off the attention of Zane van Zyl

Scholtz dominated class B, opening up an early lead and then controlling things from the front to take the flag over seven seconds ahead of Zane van Zyl (Credit Guarantee/Rim Africa VW Golf) with Baloyi taking the final podium position in a three-way battle that left Trevor Stringer (Citrine Designs/PTM Excellence Peugeot 206) in fourth and Aldrich fifth. Shane Forget (4Js Auto Opel Cub) got the better of his race-long fight with Mel Spur (G & H Transport/Castrol VW Polo) to take sixth.

Hyams led the way in the opening stages of the class C race but his race came to an end after just two laps. Stoltz then took over at the front before van Eck moved into the lead on lap three. Stoltz harried van Eck for a couple of laps, but after half-distance van Eck was able to pull away, taking a comfortable win. Behind the leading duo, Juan van der Walt (Building Code Consultants Ford Fiesta) got the better of the early skirmishes to take a somewhat lonely third from Craig Priestly (Tactical Fluid Ford Laser), Freddy Watkins (Top Lock/Pro Lock VW Polo) and Floris Stopforth (VW Polo).

In race 2 du Toit was determined not to let Garland get close, grabbing the class A lead on the opening lap and slowly opening the gap as the race went on. Pieterse took third ahead of Smith and Marques.

Scholtz again took class B although on this occasion it wasn’t as easy as the opening race. He took the lead from van Zyl on the third lap and was able to slowly extend it until the flag. Behind van Zyl, Stringer looked like he was on a comfortable run to the final podium position, but Aldrich had other ideas. Once he cleared the battle between Spurr and Forget he set off after van Zyl but ran out of laps just before he could make a move, finishing just 0.222” behind. This time Spurr got the better of her race-long duel with Forget to take fifth place.

Almero van Eck took both wins in class C
Almero van Eck took both wins in class C

In class C van Eck took the lead on the second lap and was never seriously challenged on his way to another win. Stoltz slowly closed the gap to van der Walt as the race went on but had to settle for third just four tenths behind the Fiesta at the end. Reno Van Heerden (KWC VW Polo) was less than a second further back in fourth with Hyams and Priestley rounding out the top six.

In the day’s overall results du Toit claimed the class A win from Pieterse and Garland. Two class B wins gave Scholtz the top step of the podium ahead of van Zyl and Stringer. Class C went to van Eck with Stoltz second and van der Walt in third.

The autObarn SuperHatch championship returns to the track on 12 May 2018 when round 3 of the championship takes place back at Zwartkops.