Post Race Report – Midvaal – 2011-10-01

SuperHatch descended on Midvaal Raceway this past weekend for our third and final visit of the year. Cool and windy conditions could not dampen the excitement as the championship heats up as the season draws to a close.

Warm up
We were 2nd on the program so we had an early start and with the track a bit chilly the times were not quite as quick as normal. As usual class A leader Mark Silverwood (OKI Printing Solutions – MINI Cooper S) was fastest followed by Geoff Tugwell (Connect-it – VW Golf) and Ishmael Baloyi (TAR – VW Golf). Class B had a cat amongst the pigeons with Andre de Lange (ADL Roofing) in the ex: Johan Grobelaar Golf Mk1 only 0.1 seconds behind championship leader Hilton van Nieuwenhuizen (ASAP Parts – Peugeot 206), with 2010 champion Nic Martin (RDG – Opel Kadett) 3rd quickest in class. In class C it was James Menin (West Cars – Opel Kadett) only just ahead of Mark Gregory (VW Golf) and Marius Lotz (VW Golf). Jacques Joubert in his Leatt Brace – Ford Fiesta was easily fastest of the class N field, followed by brothers Basil and Jason van der Westhuizen.

Race 1
Race 1 saw the cars lined up in the usual reverse grid format. On ‘pole’  was Brett Garland (Selftrack – Honda Civic) followed by the rest of class A and N with a small gap to classes B and C. Garland made a great start and held the lead for the first lap, with Silverwood out braking him into turn 1 on lap 2. From then on Silverwood pulled away leaving Garland to fend off Tugwell, who eventually got past to claim 2nd. Silverwood broke the class lap record while taking the win.

Results – Silverwood, Tugwell, Garland.

Class N saw Joubert easily leading ahead of the van der Westhuizen brothers and he was running at the front of the class A drivers when his engine died on lap 3 causing him to retire. Some consolation for Joubert was that he bettered the class lap record. With Joubert gone, the ‘brothers’ battled it out for the win with Basil getting the better of Jason at the flag.

Results – Basil van der Westhuizen, Jason van der Westhuizen

Class B had birthday boy Chris Davison on pole in his Superboss ahead of Martin and Mel Spurr (ASAP, Wealth Avenue, Harness co, Drivelines – Opel Corsa). De Lange had a cracker of a start and was in the mid pack of class A in no time, followed by van Niewenhuizen and Martin who had a coming together at the end of the back straight and both went off with van Nieuwenhuizen later re joining but Martin retiring with front left suspension damage. This moved Davison to 2nd and Spurr to 3rd. Running 4th and 5th were rookie driver Jaco Kriel (Opel Superboss) and Ryan Quan-Chai (Honda Civic), who was making a welcome return. Spurr later spun in an overtaking attempt on a class A back marker and lost ground to Kriel & Quan-Chai, with van Nieuwenhuizen recovering to 2nd on the road getting past Davison on the last corner of the last lap.  De Lange was later penalised 16 seconds for being underweight handing the win to van Niewenhuizen.

Results – van Nieuwenhuizen, Davison, Kriel

Class C saw Menin and Mark Gregory (VW Golf) in a tough battle the entire race, while Marius Lotz (VW Golf) got caught up in the back end of the class B battle and lost ground on the two leaders. Menin and Gregory finally crossed the line less than 0.5 seconds apart and well in the mix of class B

Results – Menin, Gregory, Lotz

Race 2
With classes A and N combined for the reverse grid this put the van der Westhuizen brothers on the front row in their class N cars followed by Garland, Tugwell and Silverwood. Basil van der Westhuizen made a good start, but his brother Jason and Garland were slow off the line allowing Tugwell to go up the inside and Silverwood to go round the outside of turn 1. The outside line proved the best and saw Silverwood easily move up to 2nd while Tugwell’s progress was halted by Garland and Jason van der Westhuizen who took their lines into turns 2 and 3. Silverwood used his class A power to quickly overtake Basil van der Westhuizen down the long back straight and was never challenged again. Behind him Garland and Tugwell were joined by Joubert, who car was rejuvenated after a fuse was replaced, and Mark du Toit (TAR – Honda Civic) and the four of them engaged in a race long battle with du Toit conceding some time at the end with an overheating engine and Joubert driving superbly to get past Tugwell and take 3rd place on the road.

Results Class A – Silverwood, Garland, Tugwell
Results Class N – Joubert, Basil van der Westhuizen, Jason van der Westhuizen

Class B was all about the jump start king Quan-Chai and Kriel on the front row, as the lights went out Quan-Chai just stood still while Kriel got away but van Nieuwenhuizen caught everyone sleeping and got into the lead in no time, taking Spurr, de Lange, Martin and Quan-Chai with him. De Lange then got past Spurr and then Martin to move to 2nd. Coming to the end of lap 3 Quan-Chai and Spurr were going door to door onto the main straight when Jason van der Westhuizen got out of shape just as they were catching him, went off the track, got back on and then spun around coming to a stop just by the pit wall. All of this áction’ kicked up loads of dust and Spurr and Quan-Chai drove straight into the dust cloud not knowing that van der Westhuizen was facing them and stationary! How they missed him, no one knows, but they did and that’s all that matters, this assisted Quan-Chai in getting past Spurr, but she in turn took the place back. The fight between Spurr and Quan-Chai allowed Davison to catch up to the battle, but not in enough time. The rookie drivers in class B, Richard Smith and Keith Moore, had fun with Pierre Lubbe (VW Golf) in a car he borrowed from Pieter Pienaar, and Kriel having fallen right back with a misfiring Opel.

Results – van Nieuwenhuizen, de Lange, Spurr

Class C was again all about Menin and Gregory with the pair of them running side by side for most of the race before Menin managed to open a gap near the end. Lotz wasn’t far behind with the class B mid pack again.

Results – Menin, Gregory, Lotz

Overall for the day:
Class A – Silverwood, Garland, Tugwell
Class B – van Nieuwenhuizen, de Lange, Davison
Class C – Menin, Gregory, Lotz
Class N – Basil van der Westhuizen, Joubert, Jason van der Westhuizen

There are only another two more rounds to go in the championship with all classes’ still wide open. The next round of the championship will take place at Zwartkops as we open for the Wesbank Super Series on the 5th of November.

See you all trackside.