Points are at a premium after the Covid-19 enforced break reduced the 2020 Car Care Clinic SuperHatch championship to just five rounds. This led to close racing all the way through the field when the third round of the championship took place Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 12 September. Jonathan du Toit (Trans Africa Racing) had to fight hard for his two Class A wins as did but Shane Forget (4Js Auto Opel Cub) in Class C. In Class B, Nic Martin (Rex Diff & Gearbox Peugeot 207) just held off Louis Scholtz (Car Care Clinic Honda Civic) to take the first heat, but clutch failure in the Peugeot gave Scholtz victory in the second.
In the morning qualifying session, it was du Toit who claimed the bonus point for pole position in Class A from Andre Dannhauser (Pro Auto Rubber Opel Corsa) and Francois Henning (Select Registrations VW Polo). Scholtz and Martin were separated by just six one-hundredths of a second at the top of Class B with Donavan le Roux (Mechanical Masters/N4 Autocraft Honda Civic) not far behind while Forget was the quickest of the Class C brigade. Freddy Watkins (4Js Auto/Geardown/LNF VW Polo) and Almero van Eck (Taurus VW Polo) were his closest challengers.
As he did last time out, Dannhauser grabbed the early lead in the opening race with Henning Slotting into second and du Toit in third. Henning withstood the pressure from du Toit until just before half-distance when du Toit got through and set off after Dannhauser. Just a couple of laps later he was on the Corsa’s bumper and looking for a way through which he found on the next tour, going on to take his third win of the season. Dannhauser took second from Henning with Lenard Archer (ACD Welkom Hyundai Getz) the last classified Class A finisher.
In Class B, Mel Spurr (Car Care Clinic/AKA Signage VW Polo) was the early leader from Martin and Courtney Nicholl (Volkswagen Motorsport VW Polo). A minor mistake by Nicholl on the second lap allowed Werner Pieterse (Komodo Traders VW Polo) and Scholtz through into third and fourth. Martin was the first to find a way past Spurr, taking the lead just after half distance. On the penultimate lap, Pieterse got through to move into second although a mistake on the next lap dropped him down to sixth at the flag. The battle was not done yet, Scholtz got past Spurr on the final lap to take second after Pieterse’s misfortune. Nicholl got the better of his duel with le Roux to take fourth, while Ismael Baloyi (Trans Africa Racing Honda Civic) and Francis Aldrich (Peugeot 206 GTI) ended in seventh and eighth respectively.
Forget had a relatively trouble-free run to the Class C win but there was plenty of action behind him. Early on, Craig Priestley (Tactical Fluid Ford Laser) led the chasing pack from van Eck and Watkins although it didn’t take long for van Eck to find a way to the front of the group and then slowly open up a gap, leaving Priestly and Watkins to fight for the final podium position. That battle came to an end on the final lap when brake failure saw Watkins make heavy contact with the barrier. Watkins’ misfortune saw George Aldrich (Opel Corsa) inherit fourth.
The early stages of race two were a repeat of the first at the front of Class A with Dannhauser leading the way from Henning and du Toit. This time it only took du Toit a couple of laps to get past Henning and he was soon on Dannhauser’s bumper with the leading Class B contenders not far behind. Despite Dannhauser making things as difficult as possible for du Toit to find a way through, the Honda was just too quick and took the lead with three laps to go. Dannhauser had to settle for second again with Henning in third.
Scholtz took no prisoners in Class B the second time around, grabbing the early lead and holding it until the flag. Behind him, Martin, le Roux and Pieterse were fighting for the remaining podium positions until Martin’s clutch failed bringing his challenge to a premature end. Pieterse was able to get past le Roux and, although he couldn’t close the gap to Scholtz in front, went on to a comfortable second place. Le Roux had to settle for third ahead of Nicholl and Francis Aldrich while Spurr and Baloyi, who had a coming together in turn five, ended the heat in sixth and seventh.
Watkin’s crew and the SuperHatch family did a sterling job between races to get his car ready for the second race and it was a somewhat battered Polo that led Class C in the early part of race two. Unfortunately, mechanical troubles forced him into retirement leaving Forget to take his second win of the day. He was again followed over the line by van Eck and Priestley with George Aldrich in fourth.
In a repeat of round two, du Toit took the overall Class A win from Dannhauser and Henning. 2018 champion Scholtz claimed the top step on the Class B podium alongside Pieterse and le Roux while Forget wrapped up Class C from van Eck and Priestley.
The Car Care Clinic SuperHatch drivers make their way to Phakisa Freeway, near Welkom, for the next round of the championship, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 3 October 2020.