Pabar VW Challenge 2023 championship starts at Zwartkops this Saturday

The 2023 Pabar Northern Regions VW Challenge racing series is expected to set off to its  spectacular best for an all new season at Zwartkops on Saturday 18 February. Guaranteed to thrill, 42 entries were already in at the time of writing, signalling another epic year of Pabar VW Challenge racing ahead.

Overall and Class A champion Rory Atkinson will be after more of the same following a dominant 2022 in his BHIT Industrial Transport Polo. Brothers, runner up last year, Wayne’s Performance Masters Polo and Bevin Masters’ CPS Warehouse machine will want to pick up where they left off last year. Bevin led Wayne to a double 1-2 in the season finale.

Waldie Meintjies, Derick Smalberger’s Sabertek car, Pabar capo Mike Barbaglia and Chris Dale’s BlueBelt Pozidrive Polos will be in the thick of it as always. As will Mydi Mfana’s MDS car, Dewald Theron’s Garrun machine and Dean Ross’ Norbrake Polo. Miguel Dias and Eco Simply Solar man Luigi Ferro step up to Class A alongside PSA newcomer Nicole Lombard.

Class B is once again the biggest class by quite some margin. With 22 cars already entered, the B bunch will likely mostly race on its own again in 2023. Rookie reigning class champion Hannes Scheepers has stayed put in search of a double title in his Dainfern Dental Polo this year. He will by no means have it his own way.

Class A stalwart and former B champion Stiaan Kriel is also back for another in his SKR Polo, while young Bevan Williams proved the man to beat in his RAM Polo late last year. Class B super girls Charisse Piazza Musso’s Hot 102.7 FM car and Elna Croeser’s ATE Polo will also be at it again and never discount Jesus Saves Vivo driver Francois van Zyl from this equation.

Then the past two Class C champions, Ian Walker’s Mellow Velo car and FSS International lad Pierluigi Muzzulini step up to Class B to make it even more difficult to predict. Dad Elio Muzzulini returns, while JRT father and son, Mitch Coetzee and Ethan Coetzee are always a factor, Ethan returning to racing after his Polo Cup crash last year.

Ethan’s Fast 5 Polo Cup rival Mo Karodia will also continue in Class B against regulars, Platinum Wheels man Jacques Hayes, Tinahe Ncube, Lindsay Clur, Karshin Naidoo, 

Ross Butt, Mike McGregor, Adriaan de Beer, and Andre Needham. They will be joined by Class B rookies, Martin de Beer and Shiren Rajpaul.

With the past two champions migrating up to Class B, Class C should look a little different up front this year. Regulars Dino Smit’s Debros Vivo, Philip Croeser’s ATE car, Jan Spamers and Pabar man Charl Andersen will be back for more. They will be joined by Insurisk brothers Dimitri and Michael Zapheriou.

The Northern Regions Pabar VW Challenge is dedicated to South African built Volkswagen cars racing in a Gauteng-based MSA Regional Championship. VW Challenge emerged out of late-1980s GTi Club competitions and soon developed into one of South Africa’s finest regional circuit racing series. 

As effective as it has become as a top, tough and competitive Northern Regions race series, Pabar VW Challenge also serves as the ideal step up to national championship classes and is a natural feeder to CompCare Polo Cup. VW Challenge crowns three class champions and an overall champion every year. 

Racing in the Northern Regions Festival, VW Challenge is most competitive, meticulously controlled and also enjoys a great social element. There’s a splendid atmosphere in the Pabar VW Challenge paddock, while the annual away race is hugely popular, as are the series regular noggins and off-track meetings.

It all starts all over again this Saturday 18 November at Zwartkops. Be there!