Investchem Formula Ford championship battle burns brighter after Kyalami
All eyes will be on the final round of the Investchem Formula Ford championship after the Kyalami round failed to deliver a decisive result this weekend. Dewald Brummer (4 – MAD Racing / Ango Trucks / Fuchs Oils) and Julian van der Watt (42 – Race Driver SA / Investchem) will have to deliver their best in the championship decider to claim the title.
The opening race at Kyalami on Saturday saw Brummer claim the chequered flag after a commanding race, leaving his main rival to cross the line for fourth. On Sunday things looked rather different when Van der Watt claimed victory ahead of Brummer, opening the door to a final round showdown.
The points gap between them after the penultimate round is now 21 points, but the series allows competitors to drop their worst race. This closes the gap and means that Van der Watt still stands a chance at claiming the title. It won’t be an easy task, but there is an opportunity for Van der Watt to launch a last-minute charge that could turn the tables in his favour.
Alex Gillespie (50 – ERP Trucking Solutions) and Dean Venter (77 – MAD Racing / Ango Trucks / Fuchs Oils) continued their tussle for third in the championship standings at Kyalami. Gillespie took second spot in race one, with Venter just 0.9 of a second behind when they crossed the finish line.
Unfortunately for Venter, being involved in a race-stopping incident in the first lap of race two saw him score no points. While this affects his Kyalami score, the gap between Gillespie and Venter is six points – in Venter’s favour.
The battle between the top four in the Investchem Formula Ford championship is certainly an attention-grabbing fight for honours, but there’s another factor in this series that is grabbing a lot of attention – and it affects the 2017 season.
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The next generation of Investchem Formula Ford racer for the South African championship was unveiled on track to the public for the first time at Kyalami. The new design features wings and a new appearance while not impacting on the driver-centred experience the series is known for.
“Updating the car modernises the appearance and brings it up to a global standard,” says Ian Schofield of Investchem. “Racing is expensive, so we’ve not only introduced prize money for the championship but also looked at reducing costs. One of these measures is the change to a more durable tyre. We’ve worked hard to retain the racing experience so the updates don’t include a diffuser which would impact on the drivers behind. This means close racing remains a part of the series going forward while still giving the Investchem Formula 1600 an appearance close to its overseas counterparts.”
The 2017 season will feature prize money of R250 000 for the championship winner with R125 000 for second place and the third place finisher will receive R62 500. Additionally the winner also qualifies for Formula Renault and Afrix test sessions.
Just one race day remains for the Investchem Formula Ford competitors and it promises an exciting outing at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, November 26. With the first race at Kyalami seeing the lead swap multiple times in the opening laps, the fight for points and track space is very real. Not one of the competitors are willing to give an inch and this will make for two tough races to end the season.