Stols and van Wyk start the season with wins at Zwartkops

Karel Stols (Pretoria Noord Toyota Etios) and Christiaan van Wyk (Mechanical Masters Ford Figo) claimed their respective overall class victories when the 2023 SuperHatch championship got underway at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 18 February.

Karel Stlos
Karel Stols
Image by Dave Ledbitter

In Saturday morning’s qualifying session, Stols gave an early indication of his speed when he claimed the Class A pole position by just over three-quarters of a second from Francis Aldrich (Opel Corsa) with Dhiren Ganasen (TransAfrica Racing/ Motul/ Centparts/ Torch Spark Plugs Honda Civic) a further half-second back in third. Mark du Toit (Trans Africa Racing Honda Civic) just got the better of newcomer Quintus Viljoen (VW Polo) and  Seten Naidoo (Honda Civic) to take fourth, with Jenny Henning (Enats Hinda Civic) in seventh. In Class B, van Wyk was comfortably quicker than the rest of the field, finishing the session over a second ahead of Andre de Lange, although de Lange would take no further part in the day’s action after crashing his Roofsure VW Golf. Jonathan du Toit (Trans Africa Racing Honda Civic) was next up ahead of George Aldrich (Peugeot 206), with Ishmael Baloyi (Trans Africa Racing Honda Civic) and Thishan Govender (Trans Africa Racing Honda Civic) rounding out the field.

In the opening heat, Stols had things largely his own way at the front of the field, taking the win by a comfortable margin. Behind him, Francis Aldrich got ahead of Mark du Toit and was able to keep the Honda behind him until the flag, taking second by just over half a second. Ganasen ended in s slightly lonely fourth place, with Naidoo and Viljoen in fifth and sixth, respectively. Henning completed the Class A field. Jonathan du Toit’s race ended early, leaving van Wyk to take an easy win despite cooling problems towards the end. Behind van Wyk, Baloyi got the better of Govender and George Aldrich to take second place.

Christiaan van Wyk
Christiaan van Wyk took victory in both Class B heats
Image by Dave Ledbitter

The second race provided more of the same at the head of the field, with Stols taking an early lead and controlling things from there to take his second win of the day. This time, Mark du Toit got ahead of Francis Aldrich early on and was able to stay ahead to take second place. Both Naidoo and Ganasen experienced problems in the race, allowing Viloen through to take fourth ahead of Henning in fifth. Van Wyk and Jonathan du Toit had a great battle for the Class B lead in the early stages of the race, but, towards the end, van Wyk was able to open up a slight gap to take his second win of the day. George Aldrich joined them on the podium, with Baloyi and Govender in fourth and fifth.

In the overall standings, Stols took the Class A win from Mark du Toit and Francis Aldrich, while van Wyk took Class B from George Aldrich and Baloyi.

The SuperHatch brigade will be back on track for the second round of their 2023 championship on 22 April when they make their way to Red Star Raceway.