Steady form from Mohamed Dangor in Class A
Friday’s practice sessions saw Mohamed Dangor edge closer to the front of the Class A field in his second outing since moving up from Class B, leaving him confident ahead of Saturday morning’s qualifying session where he secured sixth place on the grid for the first race.
At race start, Dangor generated too much wheel spin and lost three positions, but regained those by the end of the opening lap. On Lap 2, the Klerksdorp-based driver moved up into fifth position following the retirement of early leader Lyle Ramsay. Dangor also set the fourth-fastest lap during the race, seeing him starting the second race P4. In Race 2, he again experienced difficulties on the start, but slotted into sixth position.
Similar to the season opener, Dangor again found himself holding onto the pack ahead as the races settled down, leaving him confident about his form: “There is a host of positives to take forward from this weekend, particularly when looking at our lap times. I struggled with traction during both starts which was a definite setback and something that we’ll try to improve ahead of the next round. We believe that we are still on target to achieve our goal to challenge for the front of the field during the second half of the season.”
Two wins for Stiaan Kriel in Class B
Stiaan Kriel’s Friday did not exactly go according to plan, with various mechanical and sporting challenges faced over the two-day race weekend. Soon after heading out for the first practice, Kriel discovered his clutch was defective, resulting in him heading back into the garage. The replacement would see him missing Practice 2, leaving him with only one session to record enough data for setup purposes.
A more positive day ensued on Saturday morning, with Kriel scoring his maiden class pole position of the season and going on to win both races with relative ease.
However, with Saturday afternoon’s programme being changed by event organisers, the swift rescheduling of the MotorMart VW Challenge left less time for the team to prepare than planned.
While heading onto the circuit from the pre-race area, Kriel discovered that the striker for his fire extinguisher was loose, so to prevent this from causing further safety issues during the race, Kriel handed the striker to one of his team members prior to heading onto the circuit. Shortly after entering parc ferme, Kriel was unfortunately disqualified for not meeting the safety regulations.
“We started so positively with the wins and it’s unfortunate that the day didn’t end like this as well. While I understand regulations need to be followed, I think the way in which my situation with the faulty striker was assessed could have been handled better. But with the sudden change in programme, we didn’t have enough time to complete all our checks, so it really cost us severely with preparation time.
“At least the positive we take away from the weekend was that our form was good. Starting from pole and getting the two race wins and two fastest laps certainly signalled that we are a front-runner and we can only keep pushing hard to score more of these sorts of results for the rest of the season.”
Robbie da Silva on target in Class B
Following extensive preparation between rounds, Robbie da Silva’s goal was to set get closer to the rest of the Class B front-runners, and during Friday’s practice sessions the results of his training started to show with him matching target times.
After qualifying in 16th position, da Silva recorded a 12th-place finish during the day’s opening race, feeling more confident behind the wheel. Unfortunately, a broken gearbox mounting saw him abort the start of Race 2, preventing further damage in the process.
“It is a pity about Race 2 as I felt really strong throughout the weekend. With enough time to prepare, I’m sure we would’ve discovered the broken gearbox mounting as well as replace it. My sessions with Stiaan [Kriel] have paid off with me meeting the target lap times. I’m also feeling more confident behind the wheel which will help us continue to make improvements. I’m disappointed by being forced to abort the day’s second race, but I think a lot of that is related to my desire to get more seat time, as I know I’m getting closer to the front of Class B with every lap.”
The MotorMart Racing team would like to thank their sponsors Speedy Den 4×4 World and Creative Ink Media for the continued support. In addition, the team would also like to acknowledge and thank the associate sponsors of the MotorMart VW Challenge for making this exciting category possible: Norbrake Distribution, ATE Brakes, Dicktator Engine Management Systems, Yaskawa, Pozidrive and BPM Engineering.
Round 3 of the 2019 MotorMart VW Challenge Championship will be held at Midvaal Raceway from April 12-13; the team’s first visit to the Meyerton-based circuit.
Story by Reynard Gelderblom