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What Investchem Formula 1600 Round 1 Report
Where Killarney International Raceway
When Saturday 16 March 2024
Community South Africa National

Durban lad Shrien, local hero Jason top Investchem action

The final Investchem South African Formula 1600 championship before the series switches to all-new MSA4 cars from 2025 kicked off with a cracking weekend of racing at Killarney’s Extreme Festival on Saturday. Maiden winner Shrien Naidoo and local hero Jason Coetzee shared the race wins as the field raced through a gale force Cape Southeaster in a thrilling day of action at the Cape Town raceway.

There was a surprise on the grid when rookie Polo Cup refugee, Jozi’s Jagger Robertson delivered on his practice promise to score a maiden point as he put his Liqui Moly Mygale SF onto pole position for the first race. Durban Production X lad Shrien Naidoo also impressed to take a career best second, from another young charger, KC Ensor Smith’s African Heating version.

Best of the locals, 2023 runner up Jason Coetzee sat on the outside of the second row in his Mint Wrapworks car, with Karabo Malemela’s KMFT Morita entry next up from DV Building Supplies lad Alex Vos, Storm Lanfear’s Mantellis machine and Investchem driver Siyabonga Mankonkwana. Nicholas van Weely’s Magnificent Paints & Hardware Mygale struggled to ninth from the returning Ewan Holtzhausen’s Bee Tee car and rookies, Renzo Ribeiro’s Metal Used Spares and Mikel Bezuidenhout’s NBR Mygale SJs.

Behind them, Ian Schofield’s Investchem Mygale topped the Formula Ford Kent class grid from Duncan Vos’ DV Building Supplies Swift, Rick Morris’ Investchem Mygale and Ron van Weely in his Magnificent Paints and Hardware van Diemen. Another Investchem man, Allen Meyer hit trouble in qualifying.

Robertson was slow to get away, leaving Naidoo to lead his first Investchem Formula 1600 race from Ensor Smith and Robertson, under pressure from Coetzee. Malemela followed from van Weely, Alex Vos, Holtzhausen, Bezuidenhout and Ribeiro as Mankonkwana and Lanfear exited in a cloud of Turn 1 kitty litter dust on the opening lap. Robertson then slipped wide and dropped back, before Malemela went off while putting Coetzee under pressure.

That left a delighted Shrien Naidoo to storm home to his maiden Investchem Formula 1600 victory from KC Ensor Smith and Jason Coetzee. Nicholas van Weely topped his dogfight for third with Alex Vos and Robertson, joined by Holtzhausen. Behind them, Schofield led Duncan Vos, Morris, and Ron van Weely, in the Kents, but Ian Scofield hit trouble to allow Duncan Vos to lead Rick Morris, Ron van Weely and Allen Meyer home.

Jagger Robertson was again on pole for race 2 bit another slow start saw KC Ensor Smith holeshot to lead a feisty Jason Coetzee and Shrien Naidoo, with Robertson fourth. Nick van Weely followed from Alex Vos, Ewan Holtzhausen, Karabo Malemela, Mikel Bezuidenhout and Renzo Ribeiro after Siya Mankonkwana’s race did not even start.

Coetzee’s pressure soon paid off as the local hero swept into the lead with Ensor Smith now under pressure from Naidoo and Robertson. The strong headwind helped keep Coetzee’s pursuers in touch with Ensor Smith soon tucked back under his rear wing. The lead four formed a train nose to tail into the wind, until Naidoo and Smith tangled .

That split the group up to leave Coetzee to take the win, his second in Investchem Formula 1600, well clear of Robertson and the recovered Naidoo and Ensor Smith. Local lad Storm Lanfear delivered his best result Investchem Formula 1600 yet by deposing Nick van Weely for second from Holtzhausen, Malemela, Bezuidenhout, Vos who dropped back after a slip in Turn 1, and Ribeiro.

Race 1 winner Naidoo however denied second heat winner Coetzee the overall win by all of 0.06 seconds. Ensor Smith ended third for the day from Robertson, van Weely and Holtzhausen. Ian Schofield made no mistakes to take the second Kent race from overall winner Vos, Morris, van Weely, and Meyer. Investchem Formula 1600 will be back in action at Kyalami’s lucky for some 13 April weekend blockbuster Extreme Festival.

Issued on behalf of Investchem Formula 1600

Photography by: Abri de Bruyn

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