Round three of the national Investchem Formula Ford championship sees the field tackle Zwartkops Raceway on Thursday, June 16. This is an unusual choice of a race day – with most events taking place on a Saturday – but it will make no difference to the competitors.
Two rounds into the season, Julian van der Watt (42 – Investchem) is the clear leader. Van der Watt has won three of the four races that have taken place in the first two rounds. That puts him eight points ahead of the field, with a clear advantage against his rivals.
It will be up to Dean Venter (77 – MAD Racing/Fuchs Oils/Ango Trucks) to take the challenge to Van der Watt to close the gap when the racers take to Zwartkops. Venter will get help – or hindrance – from Dewald Brummer (4 – MAD Racing / Ango Trucks / Fuchs Oils) in his efforts on race day.
Brummer holds third spot in the championship stakes, just two points behind Venter. Race day will see what the outcome will be as Venter started the season strongly but faltered in round two, while Brummer was stronger in the second round than in the opening event of the season.
This could work to Van der Watt’s advantage if Venter and Brummer get involved in a duel over which of them will emerge with second spot after round three. If the pair concentrate on cutting into Van der Watt’s lead, then having to defend against two committed rivals is going to make it a very tough day for the championship leader.
With Werner Scholtz (6 – Investchem) out of competition for a while, recovering from illness, his seat will be taken over by Andrew Horne (31 – Investchem). After the first two rounds, Scholtz had worked his way into fourth place overall, so Horne will find himself in a very competitive car – but could also find himself immediately under the eye of Rick Morris (8 – Investchem).
Morris trailed Scholtz by just one point, rounding out the top five in the championship so far this season. With Horne potentially able to match Scholtz’s performance, thanks to the new car, it could result in a real tussle on-track between Horne and Morris.
Alex Gillespie (50 – Mbotyi River Lodge) can also not be counted out in the action stakes for round three. Gillespie trails Morris by a single point which will be very tempting to change when the Investchem Formula Ford field take to Zwartkops on Thursday. This means the top six contenders will all be fighting to achieve their particular personal goals – ensuring that it will be action all the way between them for both races.
While all of this will be happening at the front of the field, things are equally tense for the drivers who don’t carry quite as much pace through each lap.
Hardly more than two points separate the field from seventh position down through the ranks. Every single position ahead of a rival could make all the difference in the finishing order – and in the championship itself.
The Investchem Formula Ford competitors won’t be taking it easy on Thursday, June 16, at Zwartkops Raceway. The race fans can relax and enjoy a front-row seat of the action, while the field of single-seaters turns up the temperature on race day.