The past weekend’s Investchem Formula 1600 races at Kyalami’s Festival of Motoring were all about one man. Bloemfontein youngster Stuart White utterly dominated, delivering a crushing qualifying performance before driving into the distance to win both races at ease over Scott Temple each time. Alex Gillespie and another young gun, Tiago Rebelo shared out the third places, while championship contender Nicholas van Weely ran into electrical trouble in the first race before bouncing back to fourth in the second.
White started the weekend with a qualifying warning of things to come as he delivered a mesmerising 1 minute 52.6 lap to plant his Fantastic Racing Mygale on an emphatic pole position to nab that bonus point up front, a full 1.3 seconds clear of Scott Temple (Road to Race Mygale). He was two tenths clear of the impressive Tiago Rebelo (TRMS Mygale), Class B pole man David Jermy (Fantastic Racing Mygale), Andrew Schofield (Investchem Mygale) and Alex Gillespie (ERP Trucking Components Mygale) in sixth.
Ian Schofield (Class B Investchem Mygale) lined up next ahead of van Weely (Magnificent Paints & Hardware van Diemen) and Siyabonga Mankonkwana (Cervinia Investments/Max Q Mygale), as Gerard Geldenhuys (Abacus Divisions Mygale) closed off the top ten ahead of Allen Meyer (Investchem Mygale), Gerald Wright (Fantastic Racing Mygale), Brendan Tracey (Investchem Mygale) and Andrew Rackstraw (Investchem/RDSA Mygale).
There was high drama in qualifying after Canadian visitor Jeff Gable (Fantastic Racing Mygale) and Gerard Geldenhuys made contact and Jeff made heavy contact with the barriers on the outside of turn 2. Gable visited the local hospital for a check-up before being released with bruising and a broken thumb, missing Friday afternoon’s opening race.
Stuart White made no mistakes, blasting to a crushing 14 second race 1 victory over Scott Temple, with Alex Gillespie and Tiago Rebelo keeping the crowd content in their dice for third, resolved Gillespie’s way by just half a second. Andrew Schofield similarly held off Gerald Wright’s close attention, while Andrew Rackstraw fought back to beat duelling Class B frontrunners Ian Schofield and Allen Meyer with that trio covered by 1.3 seconds at the flag.
Brendan Tracey was next up with Gerard Geldenhuys the last finisher some way behind after David Jermy’s race came to a dramatic end when a stuck throttle cable saw him leave the track and plough into the Clubhouse corner tyre barriers. But perhaps the biggest news besides Stuart White’s dominance, was Nicholas van Weely grinding to a halt with alternator failure, while Siyabonga Mankonkwana joined Jeff Gable as a non-starter.
Stuart White once again dominated the second race, easily setting the fastest lap as he cruised off to a six-second win over Scott Temple with Tiago Rebelo a further six seconds adrift. Temple had started fourth behind White, Rebelo and Jermy and by the time he had made it through the traffic, White was long gone, but Temple duly opened up a sizeable gap to a delighted Rebelo, who raced to his first ever in Formula 1600 podium.
Nicholas van Weely brought it home in fourth albeit under pressure from Class B winner David Jermy after the two swapped places a few times along the way, with Alex Gillespie, Andrew Rackstraw and Siyabonga Mankonkwana enjoying an entertaining five-way scrap, the lot of them split by just 2.5 seconds at the flag. Gerald Wright was next up in ninth, comfortably clear of a battle between Brendan Tracey, Andrew Schofield, Gerard Geldenhuys and Class B man Allen Meyer after Ian Schofield stopped with a loose battery terminal and Jeff Gable opted not to race after his Friday crash.
So White took the day overall from Temple, Rebelo, Gillespie, Rackstraw and Wright, while Allen Meyer took Class B from David Jermy. White scored maximum points with two wins along with the bonus points for pole position and fastest lap to open up the championship lead over van Weely to 16 points as he placed a firm hand on that Road to Indy prize. Scott Temple and Alex Gillespie meanwhile continue their fight over the championship third with just three points between them.
The Investchem Formula 1600 Road to Indy returns to Killarney in Cape Town next for the 22 September penultimate round of the championship, where White will be out to stretch that lead to the extra seven points he needs to clinch the title, while van Weely will be keen to halve the deficit and take the title into October’s Zwartkops finale in Pretoria…