AutObarn SuperHatch Class A leader Brett Garland gets his first DNF dropping out with gearbox problems after putting up the best qualifying time for Round 4.
AutObarn SuperHatch team driver Brett Garland experiences his most disappointing round, leading the A Class and looking good for the Midvaal round and determined to increase his points lead over arch rival Jonathan du Toit Trans Africa Racing Honda Civic and move up in the overall standings but it was just not to be, putting up the best time everything felt right for the days racing.
“On Friday’s practice I went out only in the second session to see what sort of pace we could achieve, I quickly realized that the car was on pace immediately and feeling very planted and predictable in the fast corners,” said Brett Garland AutObarn Total, Sabat Ingco Tools Honda.
“Qualifying I was out on a very nervous and ice-cold surface but was confident in the car. As we were about to leave the pit a realized that I had forgotten to collect my transponder, so it was back to the pits to collect it but losing my clean air and open track in the process, it was shoved under my seat belt and out I went again, after the second corner it fell out and bounced into the passenger foot well. Not sure if it would work from there I was weaving all over the track to try and reach it, eventually I did and put it into my race suit, finally I could focus and put in 3 good laps and managed to put in the fastest time of 1m18.3 and Jonothan got a 1m18.7, after all this chaos, I still managed to put a good lap together, what a way to start the day,” said Garland
Garland lined up in Race 1 second on the grid with Floris Stopforth VW Polo on pole due to the inverted grid, Jonathan Du Toit and Nic Martin Rex Gearbox & Clutch, were 3rd and 4th and Andre Dannhauser Pro Auto Rubber Jetstik Opel Corsa 5th. Looking excellent Garland had a great launch and by T1 was in the lead with an ever determined Du Toit filling his mirrors, going down the back straight he went for 3rd gear and it must have disintegrated as there was nothing there, he quickly went to fourth and managed to stay ahead of du Toit and then mercifully on lap 2 the safety car was deployed due to an incident involving Craig Priestly Tactical-Fluid Ford Laser.
“I followed the safety car in the lead trying still trying to find 3rd gear but to no avail. Knowing that 3rd was the most important gear at Midvaal my only hope as that the Safety Car stayed out for as long as possible, this was not to be due to the efficiency of the Midvaal pit crew. I tried for 2 laps to stay in the running but without 3rd I found it impossible to maintain any sort of pace with Class B cars passing me, so I decided to pit.” said Brett Garland.
“We tried everything to get another gear box in time for race 2 but it was just not possible, so I had to reluctantly drop out, my first DNF in 4 years and a wasted weekend.”
In the opening race Brett Garland AutObarn Total Sabat Ingco Tools Honda Civic, set the quickest time in the morning qualifying session and was the early leader in race 1, but once his gearbox let go, du Toit had an untroubled run to his first win of the day. He was followed home by Nic Martin and Andre Dannhauser. In race 2 Dannhauser took the early lead from Martin with du Toit close behind. A spin by du Toit dropped him back down the field, but he was able to work his way back to the front and take his second victory of the day. He was followed home by Dannhauser with Martin classified third.
In class B Louis Scholtz Car Clinic Honda and Zane van Zyl Credit Guarantee VW Golf had a race-long tussle with Scholtz just able to hold off the championship leader to take a hard-earned victory. Mel Spurr G & H Transport Castrol VW Polo took third with Alex Marques Ace Auto Polo having his best outing of the season in fourth. Riaas Asmal Volkswagen Motorsport Polo and Ishmael Baloyi Trans Africa Racing Honda Civic rounded out the top six.
Race 2 Class B was another fight between Scholtz and van Zyl, with Scholtz again managing to hold off van Zyl to take the win. Sandro Godinho Bidvest Panalpina Logistics VW Golf got the better of Asmal to take the final podium position.
Tony Hyams Building Code Consultants Ford Fiesta looked to have class C in the bag, but a 30-second penalty for overtaking under yellow flags dropped him down to sixth. Hyams indiscretion meant van Eck inherited the win. He ended the race over three seconds ahead of Freddy Watkins Top Lock Pro Lock VW Polo who was less than a second ahead of Marius Rossouw CW Motorsport Conversions Opel Corsa. Reno Van Heerden KWC VW Polo had to settle for fourth with Robert Stoltz Jetstik Episerve Opel Kadett in fifth.
Hyams made no mistake in the second race, working his way to the front, to take class C from Stoltz and van Eck. Rossouw finished in fourth ahead of Nick Cleary and van Heerden.
In the day’s overall standings du Toit took class A from Dannhauser and Martin. Class B went to Scholtz from van Zyl and Asmal with van Eck claiming class C ahead of Stoltz and Rossouw.