Cape Town hosted the penultimate round of the 2017 Investchem Formula 1600 championship on Saturday. It was at this event that Julian van der Watt (42 – Race Driver SA) claimed the title of national Investchem Formula 1600 champion for the season.
Alongside of Van der Watt, Ian Schofield (10 – Investchem) proved more than up to task of claiming the Investchem Formula 1600 Class B title at the same event! The final event of the year – at Kyalami in November – is where the remaining podium positions in the two categories will be finalised.
The third winner in the Investchem Formula 1600 winner this weekend, wasn’t even in South Africa for the event. Stuart White (8 – Fantastic Racing) not only competes in the national single-seater championship, but also in the FFSA Formula 4 Academy where he competed at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in France, winning race two of this series on Sunday morning.
White is listed as a Junior Championship competitor in the FFSA series, but won the race overall. This was his first overall race victory and his fourth in the junior championship.
Competing in France, White missed the penultimate round of the Investchem Formula 1600 in Cape Town and will catch up with the series at the final round at Kyalami in November. His return there could play a role in the final outcome for the remaining top three finishing list.
In Cape Town, with Van der Watt winning both races at this second-last round of the season, the action was taking place in his mirrors. In the qualifying session, Cameron O’Connor (93 – Repro Supplies / Racing Factors) produced the second-quickest time and Dean Venter (77 – Desco) produced a blistering time in his final qualifying lap for third spot.
In race one, Van der Watt took the race victory with O’Connor in second spot and Joshua Dolinschek (117) taking third place. Unfortunately for O’Connor, he was given a 30-second penalty for overtaking while the field was under a yellow flag and his final finishing position is recorded as eighth. This pushed Dolinschek up to second place while Venter was moved on to the podium for third place.
The class B winner in the first race was the newly-crowned category champion, Ian Schofield who was mixing it up amongst the class A racers. Allen Meyer (15 – Investchem) claimed second in this category in race one.
The race two victory again went to Van der Watt, with Dolinschek again finishing in second place and Liam Pienaar (67 – Phoenix Jewellers) taking third place. For Venter, a penalty for a jump start in the second race saw him demoted to ninth. In class B, Schofield claimed his second win of the day finishing ahead of rival Rick Morris (6 – Investchem), who returned to action in this series at Killarney, and Meyer who took third place.
Overall positions for the day had the new champion, Van der Watt, in first place with Dolinschek and Pienaar second and third. In class B, champion Schofield was first, with Meyer taking second and Morris finishing in third place.
Kyalami, in Johannesburg, will host the Investchem Formula 1600 field on Saturday, November 4, for their final round of the 2017 season. While the championship titles have been decided, there are still points to be gathered and the finalisation of the remaining positions for the year.