Pepper and Kriel share Zwartkops spoils

Iain Pepper (Campos Transport / Husqvarna Polo) and Stiaan Kriel (Spanjaard Polo) shared the class A wins at the fourth round of the 2017 VW Challenge championship held at Zwartkops Raceway on 17 June. Defending champion Nic Clarke (Pozi Drive Polo) made no mistake in taking both class B wins while Rory Atkinson (Pozi Drive Polo) and Wouter Roos (Strata Mining Polo) claimed a class C victory each.

In the late morning qualifying session Pepper emerged as the quickest of the class A runners, just 0.137 seconds quicker than Kriel, to take pole position. Devon Piazza Musso (Allegiance Polo) was next up, fractionally quicker than Waldie Meintjes (LTR / Marty’s Body & Spray Polo) with Wayne Masters (Performance Masters Polo) and Wayne Crous (Delway Polo) rounding out the top six.

In class B Clarke, Adrian Wood (Laserfische Polo) and Lyle Ramsay (Monroe Racing RSA Polo) have been fighting it out at the front of the pack all season and it was no different in qualifying. The trio lined up on the grid in that order followed by Quinton Needham (Megatron Polo), Jacques Smith (Hydra Arc Polo) and Andre Calitz (AC Honed Group Polo).

Class C went the way of Rory Atkinson (Pozi Drive Polo) who was just over half a second quicker than Wouter Roos (Strata Drilling Polo). Chris Dale (Pozi Drive / Dale Automation Polo) and Shaun Crous (Ancro Building Projects) filled the second row of the grid with Gareth Lyke (Gaz-O-Matic Polo) and Greg Gossman (Pozi Drive Polo) completing the third row.

A collision at turn three in the opening race, which left Delon Thompson in the wall and Brad Hall (Hellermann Tyton Polo) stranded on track at turn six, brought out the red flag to give the marshals time to repair the damage to turn three tyre barrier. When the race got going again it was Kriel that grabbed the lead from Pepper and the pair opened a gap on the rest of the field until the half-way mark when Kriel’s clutch failed and pitched him into a spin. While he was able to re-join the fray, he finished way down the field. This allowed pepper to take and easy win from Piazza Musso with Masters joining them on the podium. Shaun Neill (Delmon Mining & Civils), Wayne Crous and Gavin Ross (Norbrake Polo) completed the top six.

In class B Wood got a slightly better start than Clarke but Clarke made his way to the front on the second lap and went on to take a hard-fought win. Ramsay had to settle for third ahead of Smith with Andy Gossman (Dimension Signs Golf) in fifth. Luan Roos (Nathan’s Motorsport Polo) was in close attendance in sixth.

Atkinson continued his winning ways in class C, taking another comfortable victory from Wouter Roos and Shaun Crous who had Dale all over his back bumper. Lyke and Piet Potgieter (Polo) rounded out the top six.

There was more drama at the start of race two, this time through turn one. Contact in the mid-field left Jordan MacGreggor (Grange Workwear Golf) and Lindsay Clur (Mirage Leisure Polo) stranded on the side of the track but the race could continue. Kriel again grabbed the lead from Pepper but this time it was Pepper that dropped down the field after a spin at turn 2. Pepper was able wo work his way back through the field but ran out of laps to challenge Kriel for the lead, finishing seven tenths behind the championship leader. Masters took another third with Piazzo Musso just behind him. Shaun Neill and Wayne Crous were fifth and sixth respectively.

Clarke made no mistake at the start and took a lights-to-flag class B win. Wood and Ramsay were again second and third. Smith and Andy Gossman took another fourth and fifth with Deon Holliday Jnr (Centworx Polo) in sixth this time.

The mid-field chaos at the start disrupted the class C field as they took evasive action and it was Wouter Roos who emerged from the dust in the lead, a position he was never to relinquish. He took a comfortable win from Greg Gossman with Lyke completing the podium. Atkinson had to settle for fourth ahead of Potgieter and Shaun Crous.

Pepper took the overall class A win from Piazza Musso and Masters with Clarke, Wood and Ramsay filling the class B overall podium. Wouter Roos took the class C win from Atkinson and Lyke.

The VW Challenge competitors next take to the track at Phakisa Freeway on 22 July for the fifth round of the 2017 championship.

The VW Challenge would like to acknowledge the valuable support of their sponsors, ATE Brakes, Dicktator Engine Management Systems, Tron Lubricants, Glasfix Windscreen Repairs and Norbrake, who make the series possible.

About Alan

My ethos is espoused in the words of Nelson Mandela: “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the idea of a democratic and free society. If need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

You will always find me standing on the side of the underdog OR HERE.