Superhatch gets second bite at the Kyalami cherry

SuperHatch was back at Kyalami for the winter races and we had another fantastic entry of 29 cars. Even with this number we were still combined with other categories, the MPC with their 17 cars for the first heat and Silvercup with their 15 cars for the second heat. This was done to keep the entry cost within affordable limits.

So SuperHatch did what SuperHatch does best and had fun, made the most of the day, and put on a great show.

Warm up saw Mark Silverwood (OKI MINI) post the quickest time in class A ahead of Mark du Toit’s Honda Civic (TAR) and rookie driver Brett Garland (DT Formwork) Honda Civic in third. Class B went to the ASAP Peugeot 206 of Hilton van Nieuwenhuizen from Chris Davison in the Opel Superboss and Nic Martin (RDG Opel Kadett). Class C’s quickest man was Jeff Langeveldt (Fury Ford Fiesta) from James Menin (West cars Opel Kadett) and Vernon Visagie’s Fiat Palio (Uno’s Africa’s spares). Class N’s Anvar Haffejee had a lonely outing being the only class N car there.

Race 1

We were combined with the Modified Production Cars (MPC) and they do a rolling start, so we did too. We should have started our rolling start 20 seconds behind the MPC grid but the Safety Car driver controlling our race must have thought he was racing the Safety Car driver controlling the MPC race because he closed the 20 second gap down to about 5 seconds by the time we were given the green lights to start. SuperHatch is not used to rolling starts but showed we are fully adaptable and had a trouble free start. By the end of lap 1 Silverwood was leading from du Toit and Garland, with Geoff Tugwell (Connect-it VW Golf) right behind in 4th place. It continued this way into lap 3 when Silverwood ran wide at turn 2 and then ran wide again at turn 3 allowing du Toit and Garland to get past him. Silverwood’s problem was a failing steering rack which finally let go coming out of the Esses causing him to go straight and crash into the tyre wall. Du Toit controlled things from the front and was never headed with Garland taking a fine 2nd in front of another SuperHatch rookie, Andre de Lange (ADL Roofing VW Polo) in 3rd.

Class B, saw Mel Spurr (ASAP, Wealth Ave, Harness Opel Corsa) get going very quickly and get right into the back end of class A by turn 1, van Nieuwenhuizen was with her and they pulled a big gap on the rest of the class B field. Van Nieuwenhuizen then passed Spurr going into Sunset, unfortunately for him, under a yellow flag. Van Niewenhuizen never gave the place back and was penalised by the Clerk of the Course by being placed behind Spurr in the results. This gave Spurr her first win of the year. Behind Spurr and van Niewenhuizen, came Davison from an unlucky Pierre Lubbe (Trio Racing VW Golf) who lost time with a failed alternator and barely managed to finish.

Class C saw a fierce battle between Menin and Langeveldt with Menin taking top honours and Visagie taking the final podium step. Class N Haffejee winner was behind them.

Race 2

And now another twist; SuperHatch would start at the back of the Silvercup grid with a standing start and a 20 second gap between starts. The usual reverse grid was used again and saw Tugwell on pole in class A and he used this position to good effect as he led class A for several laps with du Toit and Garland right behind him. Du Toit managed to get past Tugwell on lap 7 (of 8) after enduring a 2-lap safety car period. Garland also got past Tugwell and nearly got past du Toit in the fast sweep that is turn 13. Du Toit held on for the win followed by Garland and Tugwell.

Class B saw Shaun Besteman (City Used Spares VW Golf) on the front row with Lubbe alongside him. Spurr had another great start and was in the lead by turn 1 taking van Nieuwenhuizen along with her, they made a fairly clear break with Lubbe hanging on in third place. Van Nieuwenhuizen then got past Spurr and Lubbe started closing the gap to her with Davison now also starting to close on this battle. Meanwhile Lubbe and Spurr closed in on van Nieuwenhuizen as he got into a fight with the class A car of Ishmael Baloyi (TAR VW Golf). This is how it stayed until 3 laps from the end when Spurr lost gears and retired. Lubbe finished a very creditable 2nd from Davison in 3rd.

Class C saw the first heat battle between Menin and Langeveldt continue. This time Langeveldt took the top step, but not without a fight, they changed positions several times giving each other just enough room not to bump and almost enough to not give anything away. At the flag there was less than a second between them with Visagie a few seconds behind them in 3rd. There were a few unfortunate incidents with the slower cars from Silvercup, causing a number of retirements in the SuperHatch field. Haffejee was again in the class C mid pack and took class N.

We are proud to say that we certainly made up the numbers for the other categories on the day and showed our pace and skill with doing very similar times to these highly modified cars

Overall Results:

Class A: du Toit; Garland, Baloyi
Class B: van Niewenhuizen; Lubbe; Davison
Class C: Langeveldt; Menin; Visagie
Class N: Haffejee

One class lap record was broken.

Class C: Langeveldt – 2:10.921

The next round of the SuperHatch championship will take place at Midvaal on 3 September.

See you all trackside.