Saturday’s Investchem South African Formula 1600 finale at Zwartkops Raceway proved a race of two stories as Stuart White cruised to the championship to claim its cash prize and that hallowed ticket to compete in the Road to Indy shootout in Arizona on the one hand, while Scott Temple stormed to a double victory on track to make it five wins out of the last six races as he sounded a waring to his 2019 rivals.
White should have wrapped the title up in Cape Town last time out, were it not for a last lap slip, so it really was just a formality as he followed title rival Nicholas van Weely home in the first race to clinch it and book that ticket to the Road to Indy shootout. Judging by his performance in a similar French shootout earlier in the year, Stuwie should be pretty excited about his prospects after he missed out on that previous French Formula 4 seat shootout by hundredths of a second. Undaunted, the Bloemfontein youngster set his sights on the Formula 1600 title and the Road to Indy prize, both of which are now his.
Temple on the other hand dominated the weekend’s proceedings and started off by putting his Road to Race Mygale onto pole position ahead of Stuart White’s Fantastic Racing Mygale, Andrew Schofield (Investchem Mygale), Alex Gillespie (ERP Trucking Components Mygale) and title contender van Weely (Magnificent Paints & Hardware van Diemen). Young guns Liam Pienaar (Fantastic Racing Mygale) and Andrew Rackstraw (Investchem/RDSA Mygale) were next up ahead of Class B pole man David Jermy (Fantastic Racing/Beauty Factory Mygale) in the absence of class championship leader Ian Schofield.
Tiago Rebelo (TRMS Mygale) qualified ninth ahead of Claudio Piazza Musso in Ian Schofield’s regular Investchem Mygale, Class B men Gerard Geldenhuys (Abacus Divisions Racing Mygale) and Gerald Wright (Fantastic Racing Mygale), newcomer Zac Edwards (Mygale), Master Allen Meyer (van Diemen) and troubled youngster Siyabonga Mankonkwana (Cervinia Investment/Max Q Mygale).
The first race commenced in splendid, if slightly overcast conditions and proved mostly quite orderly once van Weely had made another of his demon starts to slot in behind Temple. Stuart White did what he had to in third, maintaining a watching brief over van Weely, who he simply had to follow home to take that title, while keeping an eye in his mirrors for a charged up Andrew Schofield, Gillespie, Pienaar and a happy Class B winner David Jermy. Tiago Rebelo brought it home sixth from Gerard Geldenhuys, Piazza Musso and Mankonkwana, who made good progress from the back, Wright, Meyer and Edwards after Rackstraw hit trouble.
The second race was similarly straightforward, bar Liam Pienaar making a wild move on van Weely before Nicolas dived back to regain third behind Temple and new champion White, who rounded off with a bonus point for the fastest lap of the day. Pienaar then slipped to the back leaving Gillespie to beat Andrew Schofield and a resurgent Rackstraw to fourth, while Gerard Geldenhuys delivered a strong result to score his first points in seventh ahead of Mankonkwana and Class B champion David Jermy in ninth. Rebelo rounded off the top ten ahead of Wright, Piazza Musso, Edwards Meyer and Pienaar.
So Stuart White took a 20-point championship victory over Nick van Weely at the end of the day, to take the Road to Indy prize along with a R200K cash prize, while van Weely earned R150K for second and Scott Temple, who dominated the latter part of the season R72K for third in the championship. Alex Gillespie was a comfortable fourth from Andrew Schofield and Cameron O’ Connor, who moved on to US Formula 4 mid season, but it was close behind him with Liam Pienaar sneaking seventh and best of the rookies by just a point at the last race from Tiago Rebelo, with Andrew Rackstraw another 2 points adrift and Siyabonga Mankonkwana tenth. David Jermy took the Class B title from Ian Schofield.
That’s the wrap from the Investchem South African Formula 1600 championship for 2018 – it all starts again early 2019 – watch this space for news on the season ahead as it becomes available…