Round five of the national Investchem Formula 1600 championship takes place at Aldo Scribante Raceway on Saturday, July 15. This is the third coastal round for the single-seater championship which has already seen them compete in Cape Town and East London.
Starting the second half of their 2017 season, Julian van der Watt (42 – Race Driver SA) retains the championship lead, with a total of 84 points. This puts him in an extremely strong position at this point in the year, 38 points ahead of his nearest rival, Stuart White (8 – Fantastic Racing).
White has been doing been doing double duty this season, dividing his time between the Investchem Formula 1600 season here and the FFSA (Fédération Française du Sport Automobile) Formula 4 Academy in Europe. White missed the East London event while competing at Spa Francorchamps which has left him on the back foot locally.
It has also created the situation where White finds Alex Gillespie (50 – ERP Trucking Components) uncomfortably close on the leaderboard – with just four points between them.
Cameron O’Connor (93 – Repro Supplies / Racing Factors) and Brad Beningfield (46 – General Energy Systems) hold fourth and fifth on the championship leaderboard respectively heading into this fifth round of the championship. They are on identical points and will have to consider their options going forward.
The question is, will O’Connor and Beningfield compete against each other on track, effectively fighting over fourth place, or will they find a way to collaborate in order to dethrone Gillespie (who is only two points ahead)? Once this decision has been made, they can formulate their course of action for the second half of the season.
In Class B, Ian Schofield (10 – Investchem) is clearly the dominant racer in the category. On the podium at every event so far, he also has five race wins to his name, ensuring he is 37 points ahead of the competition. At this point, that competition comes from Allen Meyer (15 – Investchem).
Meyer has been a step behind Schofield at every round this season, working hard at overcoming his first round woes when mechanical problems sidelined him from the entire race day. While Meyer has his eyes on Schofield and a chance to close the gap to the Class B leader, he has to contend with the attentions of a fellow competitor with her eyes on second place.
Donny Lamola (24 – Investchem / First Race) can be the thorn in Meyer’s side during the second half of the season. Four points is the gap before Port Elizabeth and some dedicated racing from Lamola could seriously impact on the rest of Meyer’s season.
Lamola has scored points at every round of the championship so far and with continued performances in the coming events, she has the potential to finish in second place for the season.
Before the grand finale for the 2017 season, the Investchem Formula 1600 must first get through the remaining rounds, starting with Aldo Scribante Raceway on Saturday, July 15. It should be a challenging round for the championship contenders, with many exciting moments as they chase the chequered flag.