Stols wins the day, but Dannhauser takes the title

Fourteen races on three tracks spread across nine months, and at the end of it all, the top four in the 2022 Car Care Clinic SuperHatch championship were covered by just four points. Karel Stols (PTA Noord Toyota Etios) won Class A in both heats in the season’s final round, held at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 12 November. Still, two third places were enough to give Andre Dannhauser (Pro Auto Rubber Opel Corsa) the overall and Class A championships. Nic Martin (RDG Peugeot 207) took both wins in Class B, which made sure that he took the class championship for 2022 and moved him up to third on the overall log, two points behind Dannhauser. Two Class C victories gave Devon Piazza Musso (Hot 102.7 FM Racing VW Polo) enough points to claim second in the overall standings, just a single point behind Dannhauser. Those wins were enough to move him ahead of Francis Aldrich (Opel Corsa) in the Class C championship.

Nic Martin took pole position and both wins in Class B
Nic Martin took pole position and both wins in Class B
Image by Willie Pretorius

Friday afternoon’s qualifying session took place on a wet and slippery track, but that didn’t worry the Class A duo of Louis Scholtz (Car Care Clinic Honda Civic) and Stols. The pair were nearly a second quicker than the rest of the field, with Scholtz just 0.068″ faster than the Toyota Etios driver. Class B championship leader Martin was next up, just over a second quicker than Christiaan van Wyk (NBR Karting Ford Figo). Piazza Musso claimed Class C from Aldrich.

Devon Paizza Musso
Deven Piazza Musso wrapped up Class C
Image by Willie Pretotius

Although there had been rain earlier in the day, Saturday’s opening race took place on a dry track. Stols and Scholtz had a great battle at the front of the field, spending the early part of the race at the head of a four-car train with Dannhauser and Lenard Archer (ACD Welkom Hyundai Getz) in third and fourth, respectively. Despite challenging each other at every opportunity, the top two opened up a slight gap near the end of the heat, with Stols taking the win from Scholtz. Dannhauser kept Archer at bay to take third place, with Seten Naidoo (TAR Honda Civic) in fifth. Ishmael Baloyi and Dhiren Ganassen brought their TAR Honda Civics home in sixth and seventh. In Class B, Martin had a relatively untroubled run to victory, but behind him, Jonathan du Toit (Motul/Torch/Centparts Honda Civic), van Wyk and Mel Spurr (Car Care Clinic VW Polo) were involved in an early battle for second. Du Toit worked his way to the front of that pack but couldn’t catch Martin and had to settle for second ahead of van Wyk and Spurr, with Thishan Govender (Honda Civic) in fifth. Piazza Musso was able to keep ahead of Francis Aldrich to take the Class C win, with George Aldrich (Peugeot 206) and Freddy Watkins (4Js Auto/Gear Down VW Polo) in third and fourth.

Andre Dannhauser and Seten Naidoo
Andre Dannhauser held off Seten Naidoo to take third place and with it, the championship
Image by Willie Pretorius

The rain, which had been threatening for most of the day, stayed away for the second race as well, but that didn’t help Archer, who spun his Getz on the opening lap, dropping him out of contention. Scholtz led the Class A field over the line at the end of the first lap, closely followed by Naidoo, Dannhaiser and Stols. Both Dannhauser and Stols got past Naidoo when he left the door open at turn two, with Stols moving up to second just half a lap later. Dannhauser, who needed to finish third or better to secure the 2022 championship, was content to let the leading pair disappear up the road while concentrating on keeping Naidoo behind him. Scholtz looked like he had the win in the bag, but Stols just got ahead in the sprint to the line from the final corner to take his second win of the day. After repelling all of Naidoo’s challenges, Dannhauser held on to take third, with a recovering Archer working his way through the field to take fifth. Baloyi and Ganassen again ended in sixth and seventh. Martin again had a relatively easy run to the Class B win, but behind him, things were very different to the first race. Spurr worked her way up to second and kept du Toit behind her until the flag. Van Wyk had to settle for fourth ahead of Govender. Other than a scare early on in the race, when he had to avoid Govender’s spinning Honda, Piazza Musso had an untroubled run to another Class C win with Francis Aldrich in second. George Aldrich just got the better of Watkins to take third.

Stols claimed Class A in the day’s overall standings from Scholtz and Dannhauser. Martin was the comfortable victor in Class B from du Toit and Spurr, while Piazza Musso took Class C from Francis Aldrich, with George Aldrich joining them on the podium.

The 2023 Car Care Clinic SuperHatch championship is scheduled to get underway on 17 & 18 February at Zwartkops Raceway.