Stuart White will be foremost on all of his rivals minds when the Investchem South African Formula 1600 championship heads to the Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria West for its third round races Saturday 12 May, even though the Bloemfontein teenager will be absent from this round.
White has made no mistakes in his quest to clinch the series Mazda Road to Indy award, scoring 43 of a total 44 points available so far this season to take an iron grip of the championship and place a firm hand on that title prize, but he will not be racing on Saturday, well not at Zwartkops anyway, as he has overseas commitments at the French Formula 4 races in Pau, France this weekend.
Whatever happens at Zwartkops, Fantastic Racing driver White will still lead the title race after the weekend as his advantage is enough to cover even a perfect weekend for his closest championship rival. Stuart missed out on that solitary point for pole position at the Kyalami season opener, he has since won all four races, set the fastest lap each time and was on pole position at Killarney for an almost perfect score so far.
Not exactly something White’s rivals wanted to see, so they had better have something up their sleeves come Zwartkops 12 May, but even if second place man Alex Gillespie (ERP Trucking) puts it on pole, wins both races and sets the fastest lap of the day, White will still lead the championship by a point come Saturday evening, which leaves it all to do for Gillespie.
Another young man unable to do much about that White advantage is Bedfordview lad Cameron O’Connor (Universal Health), who has his own international commitments in the United States Formula 4 championship while another F1600 frontrunner, Linden lad Nicholas van Weely, who usually races the Magnificent Paints car is another doubtful starter after he hurt his hand in a domestic incident and may not be fit to race…
But several other drivers have the pace to do something about that White advantage including Midrand chargers Gillespie and Andrew Schofield (Investchem); Parkview’s Andrew Horne (Investchem Venpine Xena), the quick Harmen van Beek and Randburg racer Brendan Tracey (Investchem), all of them quite capable of pulling it off.
Never ignore the young guns though, with the likes of Siyabonga Mankonkwana (Cervina) from Sandton, Liam Pienaar (Phoenix Jewellers) and Dainfern lad Tiago Rebelo, as well as Cape youngsters Andrew Rackstraw (RDSA/Investchem) and Joshua Dolinschek (Makita) should all be ready, willing and able to put one over all their more experienced rivals.
There should also be a tighter race for Class B at Zwartkops, with Allen Meyer returning to action and Garth de Villiers’ back aboard his Durrant machine after missing the Cape Town round and David Jermy (Beauty Factory) joining the fray to take on class leader Ian Schofield (Investchem).
Talking championships, Stuart White leads with a commanding title lead of 43 points in the bag. Gillespie sits second on 20 points, with O’Connor and van Weely next up on 19 points apiece; Mankonkwana sits in a fine fifth, a single point clear of Andrew Schofield on 12 and van Beek next up on 11 points.
So who will win at Zwartkops in Stuart White’s absence? Rest assured that the list of lads aiming to do so is long, but to pull it off and do so in such a way to become a serious threat to the championship leader may just be a taller order than it may appear on the face of. The best way to find out is to come witness it for yourself — see you at Zwartkops’ Investchem Formula 1600 races Saturday 12 May!