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What PABAR VW Challenge Round 2 Report
Where Red Star Raceway, Delmas
When Saturday 22 April 2023
Community Gauteng Regional

Masters, Coetzee & Bertholdt on top in Delmas

It was quite literally a horse of another colour as fresh winners emerged from another thrilling day of Pabar VW Challenge racing at Red Star’s Northern Regions Festival on Saturday.

Bevin Masters is proving to be the new dominant force in Class A, as he took a grand slam of pole position, fastest laps and race wins to take the day overall. Ethan Coetzee completed his comeback from his horror Polo Cup crash last year with the Class B win for the day, while rookie Bjorn Bertholdt served notice of his class C intent by taking that overall trophy home.

Qualifying on Friday afternoon saw the now Habot performance oiled and as always Dunlop shod Pabar VW Challenge grid set as Bevin Masters topped qualifying in the all-Polo 6R Class A in his CPS Warehouse machine. An impressive Charl Smalberger was second on his comeback in the Sabertek car, while Wayne Masters’ Performance Master version and champion Rory Atkinson’s BHIT Industrial Transport car shared row 2. Waldie Meintjies, Garrun entry Dewald Theron and Mike Barbaglia’s Pabar Polo were next up from Luigi Ferro’s Eco Simply Solar machine, Miguel Dias’ PMD car, MDS man Mydi Mfana and PSA lass Nicole Lombard.

Running with Class A, former kart racing rookie Bjorn Bertholdt took the Class C pole in his Renergen Vivo, ahead of Yotti Nousias’ similar We Fix Cars machine, ATE Brakes driver Philip Croeser, Jan Spamers, and Andy Gossman. Charl Andersen followed in his Pabar Vivo from Dino Smit’s version and Insurisk trio Kyle Petersen, and Michael and Dimitri Zapheriou.

Running on its own, Karshin Naidoo’s KN72 Polo surprised on a maiden Class B pole position by a quarter second from Class C graduate Pierluigi Muzzulini‘s FSS International car. Ethan Coetzee’s JRT Racing Experience version and Dr. Hannes Scheepers’ Dainfern Dental entry occupied the second row, while another karting rookie, racing lass Tyler Robinson put her AF fans car onto a fine fifth alongside Stelio Nousias’ Fourbuy Whole Sale Polo. Ross Butt’s EeziParts machine, Dubcorp lad Shiren Rajpaul, Tinahe Ncube’s Eco Simply Solar car and Bevin Williams closed off the top ten.

Jacques Hayes’s Platinum Wheels entry followed from Fast 5 lad Mo Karodia, troubled racing ladies Elna Croeser’s ATE Brakes and Charisse Piazza Musso’s Hot 102.7 FM Polos, Francois van Zyl’s Jesus Saves Vivo, Daniel Gammie and Adriaan de Beer’s Ukwazi Engineering car. Racing dads JRT driver Mitch Coetzee and FSS man Elio Muzzulini, Chris Davison’s Himonisa Polo, Robbie Cosani’s MLP car and Martin de Beer. Ian Walker started from the back of the 22 car Class B grid after missing Friday qualifying in his Mellow Veio Polo.

Bevin Masters was untouchable as he reeled off a perfect lights-to-flag race 1 victory from brother Wayne, who fought Charl Smalberger off. Charl and Rory made contact and Smalberger fell back. Gentleman Atkinson also slowed to let Smalberger back past bur he re-passed Charl again. All that elevated Waldie Meintjies to third from Atkinson and Smalberger. Behind them Pabar capo Mike Barbaglia fought Dewald Theron off for a well-earned sixth, ahead of Mydi Mfana, Miguel Dias and Nicole Lombard.

Class C proved far more dramatic. Yotti Nousias took the flag first but was penalised 30 seconds for a jumped start. That left Bjorn Bertholdt to take the win, until he too was penalised for contact, with Philip Croeserto. leaving Croeser to take the first race win from Bertholdt. Andy Gossman kept Jan Spamers at bay for third as he watched the drama unfold ahead, while the penalised Nousias picked up fifth. Kyle Petersen followed from Dino Smit, Michael, and Dimitri Zapheriou, and the delayed Charl Andersen.

Pierluigi Muzzulini fended Ethan Coetzee off forhis maiden Class B win with Hannes Scheepers in pursuit after pole man Karshin Naidoo hit trouble early on. Ross Butt was fourth from Jacques Hayes, and the battle of the babes resolved in the favour of Tyler Robinson ahead of Elna Croeser and Charisse Piazza Musso, as Mohammed Karodia closed off the top ten behind them. Tinahe Ncube followed from Bevin Williams and Ian Walker who came from the back, Shiren Rajpaul, Francois van Zyl and Adriaan de Beer. Elio Muzzulini beat Mitch Coetzee, ahead of Chris Davison, Stelio Nousias, Daniel Gammie and Martin de Beer after Robbie Cosani joined Naidoo for an early shower.

The often delayed day saw the second Class A and C race starting as the sun approached the horizon. That would not prevent Bevin Masters from doing the double for the day, followed by Rory Atkinson and Charl Smalberger. Waldie Meintjies topped off a positive day in the office in fourth from the on form Mike Barbaglia, Luigi Ferro and Dewald Theron. A troubled Wayne Masters ended eighth from Miguel Dias, Mydi Mfana and Nicole Lombard.

Yotti Nousias made up for his race 1 disappointment with a legitimate lights to flag win this time in race 2, with Bjorn Bertholdt in pursuit ahead of Philip Croeser, Jan Spamers, Andy Gossman and Charl Andersen in sixth. Michael and Dimitri Zapheriou followed from Kyle Petersen and Dino Smit.

The sun had set by the time the second Class B encounter finally got under way, which turned out to be a night race. Lights ablaze, Ethan Coetzee made a daring move on the final lap to snatch victory from Hannes Scheepers with Ross Butt taking his first podium of the year in third. Bevin Williams’ progress through the day netted him fourth from Jacques Hayes, Tinahe Ncube and another man to work his way from the back, Ian Walker. Charisse Piazza Musso topped the fight for the best of the girls in eighth from Tyler Robinson.

Adriaan de Beer was tenth in the second Class B heat, from rookie Daniel Gammie, Elio Muzzulini, Stelio Nousias, Chris Davison and race 1 winner Pierluigi Muzzulini, who stopped after picking up a CV joint problem following contact with Scheepers. Karshin Naidoo was next home from Mitch Coetzee, Shiren Rajpaul and Martin de Beer, after Elna Croeser, Francois van Zyl, Mo Karodia and Robbie Cosani were rendered hors de combat in the dusk battle.

So, double winner Bevin Masters took the Class A day from a delighted Waldie Meintjies, Rory Atkinson, Charl Smalberger, Wayne Masters and Mike Barbaglia. Race 2 winner Ethan Coetzee emerged on top of Class B overall from Hannes Scheepers, Ross Butt, Jacques Hayes, Tinahe Ncube and the impressive Tyler Robinson. He may not have won a race, but Bjorn Bertholdt did enough to take the Class C overall trophy from heat winners Yotti Nousias and Philip Croeser, Jan Spamers Andy Gossman and Michael Zapheriou.

It’s off to the Free State next as the Pabar VW Challenge heats to the Phakisa Freeway in Welkom for round 3 on Saturday 27 May. And if last year’s races there were anything to go by, quite literally anything can happen!

*VW Challenge salutes its partners, Pabar Automotive Pressings, to the fold as its lubricant partner as of the weekend’s Red Star round. Habot joins Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres, ATS Motorsport Supplies, Platinum Wheels, Habot Synthetic Oils, ATE Brakes, Norbrake, Eco Simply Solar, Insurisk insurance brokers, Pozidrive, Eeziparts, Van der Linde Developments, MDS Consulting Engineers, FSS Logistics, and Bush & Buck.

Issued on behalf of PABAR VW Challenge

Photography by: Andre Laubscher

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