Cape Town race fans were treated to a clash of South Africa’s single seater champions at Killarney on Saturday, when newly crowned 2019 South African Investchem Formula 1600 champion Scott Temple and 2017 SA champion Julian van der Watt diced hard for the win. Local hero van der Watt ended up on top in both races with Temple a close second each time.
The fight for that championship second however looks set to go all the way to the last race of the season at Delmas’ Red Star Raceway in October with with van der Watt also closing in fast behind Nicholas van Weely and the ever improving Tiago Rebelo also still within striking distance, after van Weely defeated Rebelo in their own entertaining dice for second over the weekend, Rebelo.
Van der Watt (Investchem/Wulfchiptegnik Mygale) set the tone for the day ahead on his home track with a powerful qualifying performance to take pole by half a second over Jozi trio Temple (Road to Race/1st Race Mygale), with Tiago Rebelo (TRMS Mygale) third, a couple of hundredths of a second clear of van Weely (Magnificent Paints & Hardware van Diemen).
Alex Gillespie (ERP Trucking Components Mygale) was next up from another local, Andrew Rackstraw (RDSA Investchem Mygale), Siyabonga Mankonkwana (Investchem Cervinia Mygale), Andrew Schofield (Investchem Mygale), best of the rookies Antwan Geldenhuys (Abacus Division Mygales) and Alex Vos (Ecurie Zoo/ DV Build van Diemen) in tenth. Zac Edwards (SCM Mygale), Gerard Geldenhuys (Abacus Division Mygales) and Brendan Tracey (Investchem Mygale) were next up ahead of Class B duo, lady racer Ivana Cetinich (Alpha Universal Mygale) and the returning veteran Rick Morris (Investchem Mygale).
Temple however made a lightning start to lead off the line and held the charging van der Watt off for eight laps, but Julian’s pressure paid off and he found a way past to take the lead and then hold Temple off for the win by all of 0.089 seconds! Behind them, van Weely had to fight a feisty Rebelo off for third, while Gillespie held Schofield off for sixth.
It was an entertaining race throughout the pack too, with Mankonkwana putting in a star performance as he first picked Gerard Geldenhuys and then Rackstraw off, leaving Andrew to fight Gerard off for eighth, with Antwan Geldenhuys next up ahead of duelling fellow rookies Edwards and Cetinich. Both of whom benefited Antwan stopping late in the race, as did the dicing Tracey and Morris after Vos did not start.
Race 2 was a far more straightforward affair as van der Watt led Temple home by 1.3 seconds with van Weely and Rebelo holding station behind them too, but Mankonkwana once again drove from behind to first pick Rackstraw and then Gillespie off for fifth. Vos ended up eighth from Schofield, while Tracey, Edwards, Antwan Geldenhuys and Cetinich entertained as they fought it out behind, before settling into that order after Gerhard Geldenhuys and Morris took early showers.
Van der Watt duly won the day from Temple, van Weely, Rebelo, Mankonkwana, Gillespie, Rackstraw, Vos, Schofield and Tracey, while Ivana Cetinich took Class B to move within a single point of securing that title. Temple’s double seconds saw him open up his championship advantage over van Weely, who has the rapidly closing van der Watt, to worry about, just eleven points behind Should van der Watt repeat his full points score, which he achieved in two of the last three races, at Red Star, van Weely must at least finish third in both races, to fend Julian off…
Behind them is a splendid four-way fight for fifth with just four championship points between the next four drivers, as Andrew Schofield, Siyabonga Mankonkwana, Andrew Rackstraw and Alex Gillespie in an epic tussle as they head to the final round. That in itself has its own challenges as Investchem Formula 1600 makes its first appearance at the Red Star Raceway near Delmas in Mpumalanga, where some drivers have a wealth of regional racing experience, but others will race there for the first time to make for a cracking championship finale.