The 2017 Comsol VW Challenge gets underway at Zwartkops on Tuesday, 21 March. Last season all four titles, the overall and three classes, were decided by the narrowest margins – the overall and class B titles going the way of Nic Clarke by just a single point with Rory Atkinson taking the class A title by a similar margin. Luan Roos took class C by just two points.
With all the champions back in action, another tight-fought battle is on the cards in the category’s 28th year. Class A title holder Atkinson will be spending the early part of the season in a class C Golf leaving the door open for a new champion. 2016 runner up Waldie Meintjes (LTR / Marty’s Body & Spray Polo) will certainly be one of the front runners but he will have a host of drivers looking to wear the crown. Previous champion James Hurley (The Starter Pack Company Polo), Wayne Masters (Performance Masters Polo) and Stiaan Kriel (N4 Autocraft Polo) will certainly be there or thereabouts. Another driver to watch is Iain Pepper, who makes his return to circuit racing after a nine-year break, in the Campos Transport Polo campaigned by his daughter Tasmin last season.
Class B looks to be the most competitive of the three. Clarke (Pozi Drive Polo) will be looking for his third successive title but he will certainly not have an easy task. Former champion Lyle Ramsay (Monroe Racing RSA Polo) makes a return to the class while current class C champion Luan Roos (Nathan’s Motorsport Polo) makes the step up to B. Adrian Wood (Laserfiche Polo) and Jacques Smith (Hydra Arc Polo) both spent time at the front of the field in 2016 and will be looking to win this year while former class C front runner Stuart Mack (Autobarn Polo) will make his class B debut on Tuesday.
Atkinson (Pozi Drive Golf) will be out to stamp his authority on class C but Shaun Crous (Ancro Building Projects Polo), Graham Savage (ATE Polo) and Wouter Rooos (Nathan’s Motorsport Polo) are all race winners who want to stand on the top step of the podium again.
Practice sessions take place on Monday, 20 March with the first qualifying session, for classes A & C getting underway at 08h00 on Tuesday. Class B tackle their qualifying session at 08h40.
The first 10-lap race for classes A & C is scheduled to start at 11h40 with class B lining up for their first race at 12h30. The second races will be at 15h15 for classes A & C and 15h55 for class B