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What PABAR VW Challenge Round 5 Report
Where Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria
When Saturday 24 June 2023
Community South Africa National

Brilliant racing keeps Pretoria race fans on edge of their seats

A thrilling day of Pabar VW Challenge racing kept the Zwartkops’ Regional Extreme Festival crowd on the edge of their seats with epic action on the day. Close championship battles also ebbed and flowed as the Class A fight tightened up and the Class B and C leaders consolidated their advantages.

Bevin Masters put his CPS Warehouse Polo on pole position for the opening Class A race ahead of Performance Master brother Wayne and their class championship leading rival Rory Atkinson’s BHIT Industrial Transport. Waldie Meintjes lined up fourth from Dean Ross’ Norbrake Distributors and Miguel Dias’ Performance Master-PMO cars on row 3, with Pabar capo Mike Barbaglia next ahead of MDS man Mydi Mfana and Pozidrive Blue rival Chris Dale.

Behind them, overall championship leader Yotti Nousias put his We Fix Cars Panel Beaters Vivo on Class C pole position from an on form Insurisk lad Michael Zapheriou, Philip Croeser’s ATE Brakes Vivo, the impressive Kyle Petersen’s Insurisk car and Pabar man Charl Andersen. Newcomer Tyron Pillay made his presence known in sixth aboard his VMS Paint entry from Andy Gossman Goosmotorsport car, Dimitri Zapheriou’s Insurisk entry, a troubled Bjorn Bertholdt’s Renergen version and Pabar driver Allan Pereira.

Racing alone, reigning champion Hannes Scheepers’ Dainfern Dental Studio Polo topped the monster 24-car Class B grid from Ross Butt EeziParts version, KN72 lad Karshin Naidoo, class leader Ethan Coetzee’ JRT Racing Experience car, Shiren Rajpaul’s Dubcorp, and Charisse Piazza-Musso in her Hot 102.7 FM Polos. Mohammed Karodia was next in his Fast 5Polo from RAM Customs lad Bevan Williams, Pierluigi Muzzulini’s FSS International Polo, and Jacques Hayes tenth in his Platinum Wheels version.

AF Fans lass Tyler Robinson, Stelio Nousias’ Fourbuy Wholesale entry, Tinahe Ncube’s Eco Simply Solar car Jesus Saves’ Francois van Zyl, Elna Croeser ATE Brakes and Ian Walker’s Mellow Veio Polos followed from Martin de Beer’s Manotella car, Elio Muzzulini’s FSS entry, debutant Milan Emslie and Mitch Coetzee’s JRT cars, and another newcomer in former champion’s son Josh Wilford’s Coating Techniques car. Ukwazi driver Adriaan de Beer, racing mercenary Stuart Mack in the Himonisa car and yet another newcomer, Xander Human, closed off the Class B grid.

The first Class A race ran pretty much to form as Bevin led a wide Wayne Masters, Rory Atkinson, Waldie Meintjes and Dean Ross. A feisty Mike Barbaglia, who put one over Miguel Dias for sixth. Chris Dale ended eighth, taking advantage of Mydi Mfana who stopped with a couple of laps left to race.

Yotti Nousias led an on form Kyle Petersen and Michael Zapheriou early in the Class C race behind, with Philip Croeser holding a watching brief ahead of the battling Charl Andersen and Andy Gossman. Zapheriou and Croeser found their way past Petersen around mid-distance. Andersen later dropped behind Dimitri Zapheriou and Tyron Pillay, who also swapped places on the final tour, with Allan Pereira next after Bjorn Bertholdt’s wretched run continued as he did not start.

There was no stopping Ross Butt from steaming to his maiden Class B victory once he got ahead early in that first race. Karshin Naidoo and Ethan Coetzee could only chase once they had also cleared Hannes Scheepers on the first lap, before Hannes lost another place to the on form Shiren Rajpaul. Behind them, Stelio Nousias’ lightning start saw him up to sixth where he stayed, ahead of the battling Jacques Hayes, Mo Karodia, a resurgent Ian Walker and an on form Elio Muzzulini in tenth.

Francois van Zyl followed in the midst of a busy midfield from Bevan Williams, Elna Croeser, Stuart Mack from the back, Charisse Piazza-Musso and Pierluigi Muzzulini, who was pushed back from eighth to behind Charise for causing the collision that dropped her down the pack. Tinahe Ncube, Milan Emslie, Adriaan and Martin de Beer, Mitch Coetzee, Tyler Robinson, and Xander Human followed, after Josh Wilford was excluded on his debut for being underweight on the post-race scales.

Bevin Masters made off to take the second Class A race win and make it a double for the day, but brother Wayne had to work for it. He passed Rory Atkinson for second on the final lap, while Waldie Meintjes had a clean run to fourth ahead of Dean Ross. Mike Barbaglia this time benefited Mydi Mfana’s second race demise to make it double sixths on the day from Chris Dale and Miguel Dias. Behind them, Yotti Nousias still managed to fall off the track as he kept Philip Croeser in his mirrors for the Class C double with Michael Zapheriou third from a recovered Bjorn Bertholdt, Andy Gossman, Kyle Petersen, Tyron Pillay and Allan Pereira.

Arguably the race of the meeting, the second Class B heat absolutely thrilled throughout. Karshin Naidoo appeared to have finally shaken his ill luck as he led Ross Butt, Ethan Coetzee, Hannes Scheepers, and Charisse Piazza-Musso. But Naidoo’s luck once again let him down as he slowed to be engulfed by the chasing pack as war pretty much broke out between them. Scheepers made his move on Butt to take the lead with positions changing wildly as Scheepers led Butt, Mo Karodia, Piazza-Musso and Elna Croeser across the line.

But all was still not quite as it appeared. Scheepers was put behind Elna Croeser in fifth after an earlier contretemps between the two, to promote Butt to first. But he too was penalised for unintentional contact with Coetzee to promote third-placed Ethan to the win. So Coetzee took the win from Butt, Karodia, Piazza-Musso, Croeser and Scheepers. Stelio Nousias was seventh from Pierluigi Muzzulini, Tinahe Ncube and Stuart Mack in tenth.

Shiren Rajpaul followed from Jacques Hayes, Tyler Robinson, Elio Muzzulini, Francois van Zyl, debutant Milan Emslie, the hapless Karshin Naidoo, Adriaan and Martin de Beer, Xander Human, Mitch Coetzee, and Josh Wilford. Bevan Williams ended ninth but took a 30-second jump start penalty and Ian Walker did not start.

So Bevin took the day overall from brother Wayne Masters with Rory Atkinson third to tighten the Class A title battle even further up front. Waldie Meintjes took fourth from Dean Ross and Mike Barbaglia. Ross Butt took the overall Class B win, but second-placed Ethan Coetzee consolidated his championship advantage. Hannes Scheepers emerged third from an impressive Shiren Rajpaul, Mohammed Karodia and Stelio Nousias. Brother Yotti Nousias meanwhile consolidated his overall and Class C title advantages over Philip Croeser with the 1-2 on the day from Michael Zapheriou, Andy Gossman, Kyle Petersen, and Tyron Pillay.

Pabar VW Challenge now takes a midwinter break until the first of its two coastal races at Dezzi Raceway on the KZN South Coast before heading to Aldo Scribante in Nelson Mandela Bay on Saturday 2 September.

Issued on behalf of PABAR VW Challenge

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