Championship leader Scott Temple may well be in a most comfortable position in the South African national Investchem Formula 1600 title chase heading to Zwartkops’ fifth round 27 July races with almost double the points over his nearest rival, but Pretoria’s eyes will no doubt be on another single seater attraction as the second half of the season commences this weekend.
The big news is that 2017 champion Julian van der Watt will be back in Investchem Formula 1600 action at Zwartkops, making for a splendid showdown between the former champion and current leader. Temple has been in imperious form with his Road to Race/1st Race Mygale so far this season and — his championship position clearly proves his domination, but van der Watt’s return following a year’s racing in the US as the prize for his title, makes for a most appetising stand-off.
Van der Watt has also made his intentions clear, steering his Investchem/Wulfchiptechnik Mygale to a shake-down victory in the Cape Formula Libre races two weeks back, but it is not only leader Temple that Julian needs to tackle this weekend. Championship number two Nicholas van Weely is due a race win aboard his Magnificent Paints & Hardware van Diemen, while Cape lad Andrew Rackstraw has not just won races in his RDSA Investchem Mygale, but he has also lost wins to penalties and incidents and can be expected to be right on the Zwartkops pace too.
There has been a wonderful struggle just behind the top three all year long and there is no reason why Tiago Rebelo (TRMS Mygale) and Siyabonga Mankonkwana (Investchem Mygale), who are split by a solitary championship point should not continue in their battle, with Andrew Schofield (Investchem Mygale) and Alex Gillespie (ERP Trucking Components Mygale) keeping both those youngsters in championship check, not far behind.
Gerard Geldenhuys (Abacus Divisions Mygale) has enjoyed a strong season so far, but he and all of the above will need to keep an eye out for the flying Ivana Cetinich, who returns to action at Zwartkops after missing a few races in her Alpha Universal Mygale. Ivana is the top Class B runner in the overall championship in spite of her recent absence and will be keen to get one over Allen Meyer, who leads the actual Class B log in his van Diemen.
Cetinich is also the leading Investchem Formula 1600 rookie for 2019, with the other series newcomers Alex Vos (Ecurie Zoo van Diemen) and Zac Edwards (SCM Mygale), as well as Brendan Tracy (Investchem Mygale) keen to show form at their home track this weekend.
The big Investchem Formula 1600 question this Zwartkops weekend, however, remains just how significantly 2017 champion Julian van der Watt will stir it all up. Rest assured that Scott Temple, Nick van Weely, Andrew Rackstraw and the rest will not just take it lying down and that should make for some quite splendid racing in Pretoria.