Road to Indy war visits Zwartkops
The Investchem South African Formula 1600 championship’s epic Road to Indy dice heads to Zwartkops Raceway outside Pretoria Saturday 18 August with Nicholas van Weely and Stuart White fighting it out for the championship cash prize and that Mazda Road to Indy shootout drive in Arizona in December.
Van Weely (Magnificent Paints van Diemen) struck while the iron was hot at Zwartkops three meetings back, taking a dramatic double victory to move into a slender championship lead when White was absent racing overseas. The elder driver, Nicholas has since out-pointed his young rival Stuart (Fantastic Racing Mygale) to establish a tiny 3-point championship lead heading back to Zwartkops to set up a single-seater standoff come Saturday.
How will drop-points eventually affect the title race? — will White’s missed races start to count in his favour, or not? — as the season winds down, remains to be seen, while there’s a whole grid of drivers ready to depose both of title leaders to clamber back into title contention, starting with Alex Gillespie (ERP Trucking Mygale) in a distant but comfortable championship third with his ERP Trucking Mygale.
The fight for fourth could however not be closer with two more former kart champion youngsters Cameron O’ Connor (Universal Health Mygale) and Liam Pienaar (Phoenix Jewellers Mygale) and Formula Ford expert Scott Temple (Road to Race Mygale) split by just two championship points in fourth. The rest of the field has a number of hard luck stories to justify their championship positions.
Andrew Schofield (Investchem Mygale) for instance, comes off a tough weekend at a sodden PE keen to bounce back in style, while Siyabonga Mankonkwana (Cervina Investments/Max Q Mygale), Tiago Rebelo (TRMS Mygale) and Harmen van Beek (Mygale) are among a number of drivers to have shone in some races, but have also all suffered Lady Luck’s ignorance in others.
Luck has however completely deserted Cape Town kids, Andrew Rackstraw (RDSA Investchem Mygale) and Josh Dolinschek (Makita Mygale) so far this season and both are desperate to shake that mantle off and show what they are made of at Zwartkops. Brendan Tracey (Investchem Mygale) is another driver keen on a change in fortune, while Formula 1600 rookie Gerard Geldenhuys (Abacus Divisions Mygale) is improving race by race.
One lad keen to show his true colours is PE wildcard Chassen Bright, who returns after a troubled but most impressive debut aboard his Fuchs Fantastic Racing Mygale last time out, while Gerald Wright makes his debut in a Fantastic Racing Mygale.
Champion Ian Schofield (Investchem Mygale) is once again in control of the Class B title chase, with a 30-point advantage over David Jermy (Beauty Factory/Fantastic Racing Mygale) and Garth De Villers (Durrant Racing Mygale) and Allen Meyer (van Diemen) next up.
All in all, the chase for the chance to join the Mazda Road to Indy is bound to continue to thrill when the 2018 Investchem SA Formula 1600 championship takes its second bite of the Zwartkops Raceway’s Sasol Race Day Saturday 18 August — certainly another good reason to head to the Pretoria racetrack Saturday 18 August.