There was a surprise result when the Investchem Formula 1600 Road to Indy returned to Zwartkops on Saturday as seasoned single-seater campaigner Scott Temple split title rivals, pole man Stuart White and Nicholas van Weely on the starting grid before going on to a double race win. White meanwhile benefited van Weely struggling through the day to move into a small championship lead with second overall. Van Weely suffered power and handling issues in the cold, blustery and slippery conditions to end up third on the grid and in the first race, but he slipped to sixth in race 2.
White impressed through practice and into qualifying to put his Fantastic Racing Mygale on pole position from a charged-up Temple (Road to Race Mygale) and van Weely (Magnificent Paints & Hardware van Diemen) with Andrew Schofield (Investchem Mygale) alongside Cameron O’Connor (Universal HealthCare Mygale) on the second row, with David Jermy (Fantastic Mygale) pipping Ian Schofield (Investchem Mygale) for the Class B pole.
The Mygales of Tiago Rebello (TRMS) Andrew Rackstraw (Investchem/RDSA) and Alex Gillespie (ERP Trucking Components) rounded off the top ten ahead of Gerald Wright (Fantastic), Gerard Geldenhuys (Abacus Divisions) and Brendan Tracey (Investchem) with Class B runner Allen Meyer (van Diemen) next up ahead of three more Myglaes in Siyabonga Mankonkwana (Cervinia/Max Q), class B man Garth Elroy de Villiers (Durrant) and Chassen Bright (Fantastic), who was struggling with handling after repairs following a Friday shunt when his throttle stuck open.
Temple led White, van Weely and O’Connor, but the safety car was deployed after Tracey fell off on the first lap. Rebello stopped toward the end of the safety car period when the top four resumed the fight once the track was clear, but Temple was in charge to keep White’s close attentions in check. Van Weely slipped back, clearly unhappy with his van Diemen’s set-up, but able to keep O’Connor, who was having his own issues, in check. Andrew Schofield was a short head behind ahead of Gillespie and Rackstraw, but Chassen Bright delivered a storming drive from the back to end up an impressive 8th.
Gerald Wright brought it home ninth ahead of the Class B top three headed by Ian Schofield, a tenth of a second clear of Allen Meyer and Garth de Villiers as Siyabonga Mankonkwana dropped back with gearbox trouble to trail home ahead of Geldenhuys. Besides Rebello, David Jermy failed to finish after suffering a stuck throttle scare while Tracey was detained trackside after his first lap visit to the kitty litter.
Temple made a great start to lead the second race again after White seemed to bog on the line to allow van Weely through. White took a trip onto the dirt on the way out of turn 2, but all was not well with van Weely’s car and White found his way by a lap later. Andrew Schofield sat in fourth ahead of a recovered David Jermy, who had made a strong start to lead O’Connor, but the Safety car was dispatched after Gillespie went off at the top of the hill.
So Temple led White, van Weely, Andrew Schofield, O’Connor, Jermy, Rebello, Rackstraw and Schofield senior once the Safety Car returned to the pits, but van Weely’s troubles laid him open to attack by Schofield junior, class B winner Jermy and O’Connor, all of whom found their way past the struggling van Diemen. Andrew Rackstraw, Tiago Rebello and Chassen Bright ran out of laps to pass van Weely with the four of them covered by 0.6 seconds at the flag, while Gerald Wright closed off the top ten ahead of Class B men Ian Schofield and Allen Meyer with Geldenhuys and the struggling Mankonkwana last home after de Villiers stopped.
All of that saw Temple take the day overall from White, Andrew Schofield, O’Connor, van Weely and Rackstraw to see White moving into a single point championship lead over erstwhile frontrunner van Weely, while Temple’s double victory thrust him up from sixth into third on the title log albeit a good sum adrift for the top two. Scott now sits a point clear of Gillespie after his tough weekend, with O’Connor further back in fifth, a few points clear of Andrew Schofield as Investchem Formula 1600 makes for Kyalami in two weeks with a race on each day of the Spring weekend Festival of Motoring 1-2 September. Be there!