Phakisa Freeway, situated just outside of Welkom in the Free State Province, played host to the third round of the Inland Championship. A largely flat circuit, Phakisa has a habit of throwing up some peculiar race results and has gained a consistent reputation of featuring a slippery surface due to the dusty environment. With numerous categories on display, the Motul Clubmans category put on a show of note, with a number of in-class battles. To add to the excitement of the weekend’s racing, the Midvaal Historics category joined the Clubmans racers, which really threw the cat among the pigeons.
Heading into the weekend, the competitor to beat was the inform Giles Darroch (GRD Motorsport/NEPIC VW Golf – Class C) who lead the Index Championship after an impressive four wins from four starts, Dewald Brummer (MAD Racing/Fuchs Lubricants VW Polo -Class B) in second, followed by Class E runner, Roland Hopkins (Rietchard Scrap Metals VW Golf).
Qualifying saw the quickest time set by the Super Saloon of Marius Jacobs (AAA Recovery Tigra) over the 4.24 km circuit, setting a sub 1 minute 48 second lap, a mere 0.060 quicker than the Porsche 911 RSR of Ricard Schuhardt, a last minute Super saloon entrant.
The remaining qualifying results saw Keegan Pottas (AIPM Honda CRX) take pole position in Class A, with Dewald Brummer (Class B), Shaun Crous (Ancro Building Products VW Polo – Class C), Lenard Archer (Hyundai Elantra ACD Welkom – Class D), David Potgieter (111Plumbers/All Wagon VW Golf – Class E) and on his Clubmans debut, Nico Grobler (Yellow Ice Trading VW Golf GTI – Class F) taking the top spot in their respective classes.
Race 1 saw Jacobs take an early lead with a car that had a number of upgrades following Round 2, but unfortunately on Lap 4 he suffered a gearbox issue which forced his eventual retirement from the race. Keegan Pottas (Class A), who had entered a turbo-charged Honda CRX for Round 3, took the overall lead on Lap 5, a position he kept to the end. Pottas too, had made several changes and upgrades to his car and Friday’s practice saw him take to the track with the car for the first time. A few seconds behind was Schuhardt in his Porsche. Third on track was Class A runner-up, Wayne Crous (Toshiba Tech VW Vivo).
The only Class B runner on the day, Brummer, had broken his gearbox during qualifying and would take no further part in the category. Class C saw an intriguing battle between Daroch, Bjorn Gebert (FAS Alpha Romeo GTV 6) and Shaun Crous. Gerbert’s challenge was however short-lived when he suffered a mechanical issue in the early stages of the race. Darroch experienced some tyre issues on Lap 6 which resulted in him going off track and forcing a trip to the pits. Darroch lost the lead to Crous, who himself retired from the race with a wheel-bearing failure, allowing Darroch to take class honours after being classified a finisher after 7 laps.
Lenard Archer (Hyundai Elantra ACD Welkom), one of the few local participants, took Class D honours ahead of Duane Brown (Brown’s Auto Ford Fiesta). Class E, was won by debutant, Grobler, followed home by Keanu Venter (Acrotek LR Supplies VW Golf) and regular on-track rival, David Potgieter (111Plumbers/All Wagon VW Golf). Grobler, previously classified in Class F, broke out of his time bracket and was subsequently moved up a class.
Race 2 saw the Super Saloon class start ahead of an inverted Clubmans grid. Pottas, who had a flawless opening race, took the lead midway on the opening lap. He went on to win the overall race and take home the maximum points available from both races. He was followed home by Schuhardt (first in Super Saloons) and Wayne Crous (second Class A). Brother to Wayne, Shaun Crous, took the checkered flag in Class C, with Darroch finishing in second, with a valuable haul of championship points.
Class D saw a repeat result from Race 1 with Archer and Brown finishing on the podium again with the Class E spoils going to Grobler, with Venter and Potgieter in second and third, respectively.
Overall results for Round 3 of the Motul Clubmans Championship:
- Keegan Pottas
- Wayne Crous
- Giles Darroch
- Shaun Crous
- Lenard Archer
- Duane Brown
- Nico Grobler
- Keanu Venter
- Dewald Potgieter
- Ricard Schuhardt
The 2019 Motul Clubmans Championship is run as part of the ever popular, regional EV Dynamics Inland Championship and is contested over nine rounds during 2019. The next round of the championship will be hosted at Zwartkops Raceway on the weekend of May 17-18.
Story by Raymond Cornwell for Motul Clubmans