Saturday, March 9 should have seen him collect 23 points in his pursuit of the Class B title, but instead he will now find himself on the back foot yet eager to fight back with a vengeance.
Friday did not exactly go according to plan for the MotorMart Racing Team driver, 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.”
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.
Round 3 of the 2019 MotorMart VW Challenge will see Stiaan Kriel taking on Midvaal Raceway in Meyerton on April 12-13.
Story by Reynard Gelderblom