Zwartkops Raceway marks the fourth event in the eight round Investchem Formula 1600 championship for 2017 on Friday, June 16. This event again sees Julian van der Watt (42 – Race Driver SA) take to the start line at the championship leader, now with double the points of his rivals.
Stuart White (8 – Fantastic Racing) and Alex Gillespie (50 – ERP Trucking Components) enter the Zwartkops round on identical points in second place. White missed round three, in East London, competing in the FFSA (Fédération Française du Sports Automobile) Formula 4 Academy event in Pau, southwestern France. He enters the Zwartkops event a week after the Spa-Francorchamps round of the championship – and with a tough race day on SA soil.
Gillespie’s points haul in East London closed the gap to White in the national championship and they will have to duel at Zwartkops to decide who starts the second half of the season in the stronger position.
Then there is both Brad Beningfield (46 – General Energy Systems) and Cameron O’Connor (93 – Repro Supplies / Racing Factors) to consider. Fourth and fifth place respectively, they trail White and Gillespie by a maximum of five points, so this event could escalate into a four-way battle for the two podium places available behind Van der Watt.
Class B (the category for drivers over 40 and for the ladies) sees Ian Schofield (10 – Investchem) the outright leader in the class. With a 20 point cushion on his rivals, Schofield has little pressure at this point in the season. The fight for a second though will continue between Paige Lindenberg (23 – Investchem / First Race) and Donny Lamola (24 – Investchem / First Race).
Currently in second and third place respectively, the pair are separated by just two points. Between them, they will want to create a greater space for the coming events which should see a greater rivalry between the two on track.
Then there’s Allen Meyer (15 – Investchem) who is just four points behind, trailing in fourth place, but recovering quickly from his first round clutch problems and is now well on track to close down on his competition – and putting their current standings in jeopardy.
What waits for the Investchem Formula 1600 field at Zwartkops Raceway is a day of tough competition as they jostle on track for position on a narrow track that requires a great deal of strategy and planning, along with the race craft required to get in front and stay there.
Joining the national field at Zwartkops Raceway for this event is Wesley Vosloo, a guest driver for the Investchem Formula 1600 championship, a regular feature for the series. Vosloo will find out firsthand what competition is like in these open-wheel race cars that require a great deal of concentration but also offer a rewarding racing experience.