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What PABAR VW Challenge Round 3 Preview
Where Phakisa Freeway, Welkom, Free State
When Saturday 27 May 2023
Community Gauteng Regional

Scores to be settled in super tight VW championship fight

If you have followed the Pabar Gauteng VW Challenge so far this season, you may very well be excused to be surprised how the championship log stacks up heading into the third round races at Phakisa outside the Free State town of Welkom on Saturday 27 May.

While some may have expected Bevin Masters to top Class A, the same may not be said about him leading the overall chase. That however has more to do with two wild title fights in the other classes, which is why there’s a bit of a shock in below Bevin on the log. Battling Brat Pack Class C rookie duo, Bjorn Bertholdt and Yotti Nousias sit second and third ahead of Class A duo Wayne Masters and Rory Atkinson, and Class C veteran Philip Croeser.

So fraught was the VW Challenge Class B action so far in 2023, that the top three, consistent last race winner Ethan Coetzee, Stiaan Kriel and Jacques Hayes sit just three points apart in the chase down in seventh, eighth and ninth overall, while Class A veteran Waldie Meintjies rounds off the top ten four races into the season. So it’s certainly all to play for at Phakisa!

Looking at the classes, Masters brothers, Bevin’s CPS Warehouse machine and Wayne’s Performance Master car top the Class A chase after having had it all their own way so far, with a couple of race wins apiece. Reigning champion Rory Atkinson’s BHIT Industrial Transport car sits close enough behind in third to be a menace. Waldie Meintjies is also still in touch in fourth. It’s close behind as ten points separate the next eight cars in the all-Polo 6R top Class A. Charl Smalberger Sabertek car sits fifth from Mike Barbaglia’s Pabar Polo, Chris Dale’s Pozidrive entry, Dean Ross, Luigi Ferro, Dewald Theron, Mydi Mfana, Miguel Dias, and the rose among the thorns, Nicole Lombard.

If Class A is close, then Class B certainly is the cigar. Ethan Coetzee ’s JRT car holds a three point advantage over Jacques Hayes’ Platinum Wheels Polo and first round winner Stiaan Kriel, who has since moved on. Former Class C champion Pierluigi Muzzulini’s FSS entry leads another close bunch including reigning Class B champion Dr. Hannes Scheepers’ Dainfern Dental Polo, best of the Class B ladies Elna Croeser’s ATE Brakes Polo, Ross Butt’s EeziParts machine, and champion Class C graduate Ian Walker’s Melo Velo car.

Behind them RAM lad Bevan Williams, Tinahe Ncube Eco Simply Solar car, Jesus Saves’ Francois van Zyl, two more racing lasses, impressive AF Fans rookie Tyler Robinson and Charisse Piazza Musso’s Hot 102.7 FM Polos, and the luckless Karshin Naidoo’s KN72 machine have at least scored points so far this season. Such is the competition that the rest of Class B is yet to score.

So rest assured that Mo Karodia, racing dads Elio Muzzulini and Mitch Coetzee, Robbie Cosani, Shiren Rajpaul, Martin and Adriaan de Beer, Chris Davison, Stelio Nousias, Lindsay Clur, Daniel Gammie and Andre Needham will be chasing their first points in Welkom. Class X driver Stuart Mack is not eligible to in the competitive experimental turbo triple one litre Nathans Polo. That Pabar VW Challenge Class B Car of Tomorrow however generally finds itself at the sharp end of the Class B action

Rookie former karter Bjorn Bertholdt has made a stellar start to his main circuit career to lead Class C and sit second overall in his Renergen Vivo. All be that just two points clear from fellow rookie archrival Yotti Nousias’ similar We Fix Cars machine. Always up for the fight, veteran Philip Croeser sits third in C in his ATE Brakes Polo, with the elder Nousias brother Stelio fourth in the other We Fix Car. Insurisk racer Michael Zapheriou is next up from Jan Spamers, Andy Gossman and Charl Andersen’s Pabar Vivo, lad Dino Smit, Kyle Petersen, and Dimitri Zapheriou.

The twisty and bumpy Phakisa Freeway is also famous for throwing spanners in the works and spicing up the action. That, so many drivers still chasing their first points and some other scores already to be settled, will surely see to it that Saturday’s Welkom Pabar VW Challenge action will come right out the top drawer. Sounds like a fine reason for a day trip to the Goldfields!

Issued on behalf of PABAR VW Challenge

Photography by: Andre Laubscher

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