Zwartkops Raceway saw the MotorMart Klerksdorp driver retire from the day’s opening race with fuel delivery issues, but end the June 28-29 weekend by beating the Class B field with 8.697 seconds to spare.
Friday saw Kriel only participate in two of the four practice sessions due to professional commitments. He did however top the timesheets in sessions One and Four where after he took pole position with a margin of 0.338 over his nearest rival. The lack of running-time in his Volkswagen Polo however came into play on the mechanical side.
Shortly after setting his flying lap, he discovered a fuel delivery issue which was suspected to be a fuel pump failure. Unfortunately for Kriel, the time of the failure was already past the normal business hours and what made matters worse was that there was no sure way of pin-pointing the cause of failure with equipment available. Saturday morning saw an early start for the team as they commenced with a replacement of all related components in a bid to eradicate all possible causes.
Repairs were only completed with minutes to spare ahead of the first race resulting in Kriel missing the gird formation. He valiantly tried to make his way through the field, but the replaced fuel rail also broke resulting in damage to the oil cooler. This saw him retiring after completing four laps and the team having to work against the clock to have the car ready for Race 2.
Kriel did however manage to set the fifth-fastest lap in Race 1 to determine his grid position for Race 2. He rapidly made his way to the front of the field where after he pulled away to take the win with a comfortable margin while setting the fastest lap. By taking his seventh win from eight starts, he also ensured that his 100% win vs. finish record for the 2019 season remains intact.
“It was a bit of a different weekend for us, but we finished it on a successful note” said Kriel. “My biggest concern in Race 1 was any further damage as there was a possibility of a fire as well. Fortunately, we were able to repair the car ahead of Race 2 to take the win. I could certainly not have done this by myself and I’d like to thank Craig O’Donoghue, Ebrahim Peck and Jaco van Schalkwyk for all their hard work throughout the day to make this possible.”
Stiaan Kriel would like to thank the following partners for making his 2019 MotorMart VW Challenge campaign possible: MotorMart Klerksdorp, Creative Ink Media, Spanjaard, Lehlobo Autobody Repairers, Geardown Gearbox, Colt & Toyota Spares, Bessie Bester Motors, Kalex, Most Wanted Performance Tuning.
In addition, Kriel would also like to thank the associate sponsors of the MotorMart VW Challenge for making this exciting category possible: Norbrake Distribution, ATE Brakes, Dicktator Engine Management Systems, Yaskawa, BPM Engineering and Pozidrive.
Story by Reynard Gelderblom on behalf of Stiaan Kriel / MotorMart Klerksdorp