Investchem Formula 1600 season starts on Kyalami High

The 2023 Investchem Formula 1600 season erupted into spectacular action at their season opening races supporting the Kyalami 9 Hour.

Race fans were treated to drama and action throughout as Gerard Geldenhuys benefited pole man Troy Dolinschek picking up a problem early in the heat, before Dolinschek romped to the second race win,

Dolinschek had bounced back from a tough two days of practice to put his Sujean Investchem machine on an impressive pole position in the all-Mygale Investchem Formula 1600 grid. Geldenhuys was second in his Abacus Divisions car from the on form Siya Mankonkwana’s Investchem car, and Jason Coetzee, who had great pace on Friday but suffered an alternator issue in qualifying in his Mint Wraps Fuchs Mygale.

Nicholas Van Weely reported that he was coming to grips with his Magnificent Paints & Hardware Mygale in fifth ahead of top rookies, Karabo Malemela’s KMFT Morita car and Junior Max karting champion KC Ensor-Smith’s African Heating Mygale. Alex Vos suffered a troubled qualifying in his Mygale DV Investchem car, as did Andrew Schofield’s Fly Safair Investchem version, and Antwan Geldenhuys second Abacus entry. PX driver Shrien Naidoo was next up ahead of AF Fans lass Tyler Robinson, and AMD lad Storm Lanfear.

Graham Hepburn topped old school Formula Ford Kent qualifying in his Qualipak Van Diemen ahead of Investchem trio, Ian Schofield’s Mygale, Allen Meyer in a Van Diemen and Rick Morris’ Mygale. Duncan Vos’ Swift and Ronald Van Weely in a Magnificent Paints & Hardware Van Diemen closed off the grid.

Troy Dolinschek hit a problem from the get-go in Friday’s first race, as his engine cover came adrift off the start and was left flapping about in the wind. Gerard Geldenhuys took advantage to jump into the lead ahead of a fast starting Nicholas van Weely, Siya Mankonkwana and Dolinschek. Troy quickly fought back to second but he was clearly hampered in a straight line and was soon gobbled up, before being called into the pits to remove the loose cover.

Which left Geldenhuys leading van Weely, Mankonkwana, a resurgent Jason Coetzee and Andrew Schofield, with Duncan Vos and Antwan Geldenhuys close behind. Van Weely kept Geldenhuys honest up front as Coetzee piled the pressure on Mankonkwana for third. No matter what Jason did, he could not find a way around Siya on the brakes, as the pack closed in while they battled on, mostly side by side. Vos and Schofield enjoyed their own battle, as did Antwan Geldenhuys and Karabo Malemela behind.

Gerard Geldenhuys ultimately took an easy win over a delighted van Weely, as Mankonkwana held Coetzee off for third and their squabble continued upstairs. Andrew Schofield was close behind from Alex Vos and Antwan Geldenhuys, from rookie Karabo Malemela and Storm Lanfear. KC Ensor-Smith was tenth from Shrien Naidoo as Dolinschek fought back to 12th from spinner Tyler Robinson.

Graham Hepburn turned pole position into the Formula Ford Kent win from a resurgent Duncan Vos, Ian Schofield’s Mygale, Rick Morris and Allen Meyer.

Dolinschek made no mistakes as he left the rest to squabble behind him in race 2 early Saturday morning. And squabble they did, as Jason Coetzee fought his way past Gerard Geldenhuys to make it a Cape Town 1-2 and leave Gerard to fend off the still combative
Mankonkwana for third. Nicholas van Weely has clearly come to grips with his new Mygale as he added a second race fifth ahead of Andrew Schofield and top rookie KC Ensor-Smith and Antwan Geldenhuys.

Tyler Robinson was next up from Storm Lanfear in tenth while Karabo Malemela came back from an early spin to edge troubled duo Shrien Naidoo and Alex Vos. There was no such trouble for his dad Duncan Vos, who turned the Formula Ford Kent tables on Rick Morris, Graham Hepburn, Ronald van Weely, and Allen Meyer after Ian Schofield was sidelined with a broken throttle cable.

So Gerard Geldenhuys took the overall win from Jason Coetzee, Nick van Weely, and Siya Mankonkwana. Geldenhuys provisionally leads the tight championship by two points from Coetzee, with Troy Dolinschek and van Weely a further two behind and just one point clear of Mankonkwana. It’s into the lion’s den for the upcountry visitors as Investchem Formula 1600 heads to Dolinschek and Coetzee’s back yard at Killarney next for Cape Town’s 18 March Extreme Festival.