It’s all to play for in Investchem F1600
The South African National Investchem Formula 1600 Championship kicks off at Kyalami’s Festival of Motoring Saturday 24 March with a field of most exciting South African young guns chasing a brilliant new championship prize of the chance to drive in the Mazda Road to Indy Shootout in Phoenix, Arizona, USA in December.
“We are delighted that the 2018 Investchem Formula 1600 champion will win the chance to fight it out in the annual Mazda Road to Indy shootout,” Investchem Formula 1600 boss Ian Schofield explained. “The Mazda Road to Indy program is exactly what it says — it aims to select the best young drivers and propel them into a program to see him or her competing in the Indianapolis 500 in future.
“Our Investchem Formula 1600 Mazda Road to Indy campaign also revives a hugely successful Driver to Europe award of the early ’70s and that program delivered Jody Scheckter, who went on to become the only South African to win the Formula 1 world championship for Ferrari after a most successful European and US career.
“Now our champion has the chance to ignite an international racing career and these lads will be chasing our prize of the first step on the Road to Indianapolis and where better to start than at Kyalami? May the best man win!”
The Investchem Formula 1600s also switch to more reliable new sequential gearboxes for 2018, but with that Road to Indy carrot over and above a R200K prize to in essence cover the champion’s racing costs for the SA season, it’s all to play for from the first turn of the wheel at Kyalami. Add the fact that reigning champion Julian van der Watt is already off chasing the American Dream and it becomes clear that 2018 is set to be a very big year for the young guns of Investchem Formula 1600.
Among them is 17-year old 2017 Formula 1600 runner-up and French Formula 4 Academy race winner Stuart White (Fantastic Racing), who missed out on a French Academy drive by just a couple hundredths of a second earlier this year. Not only is the Bloemfontein youngster chasing the South African championship this year, but he’s hell-bent on opening that door to a US race career too.
White’s biggest opposition is likely to come from another South African karting prodigy in 16-year old Cameron O’Connor (Repro Supplies), who like his rival, has a year’s Investchem Formula 1600 experience under his belt, while 17-year old Capetonian Joshua Dolinschek (Makita Power Tools) is another F1600 regular with a point to prove and Alex Gillespie (ERP Trucking Components), Investchem duo Andrew Schofield and Brendan Tracey and Andrew Horne have all proven that they are well more than capable of fighting for victory.
They will be joined by exciting newcomers in two more kart racers who will continue after stepping up to Investchem Formula 1600 later last season in Capetonian 16-year old Andrew Rackstraw (Investchem/Race Driver SA) and Jozi lad Tiago Rebelo (16). Namibian youngster and MSA Academy and Formula Vee graduate Siyabonga Mankonkwana (Cervinia Investments) is another young gun to keep an eye on, with several other up and coming drivers also likely to join the grid as the season progresses.
It’s not only the youngsters who shine in Investchem Formula 1600 as there are a few old hands out to challenge the kids, none other than series sponsor and patron Ian Schofield and his Investchem stablemate Allen Meyer and Garth de Villiers (Durrant Motorsport), who will fight it out for Class B honours.
Investchem Formula 1600 is a South African National Championship racing class that sees drivers competing in identical wings and slicks single seater race cars as part of the Extreme Festival race circus at racetracks around South Africa. Powered by 1600cc Ford engines, the eight-round championship not only offers that Mazda Road to Indy opportunity, but also pays healthy cash prizes to the championship top three. Find out more at www.singleseaters.co.za.
The Investchem Formula 1600s share the full 24 March Motorsport Festival program with the cream of South Africa’s racing categories to offer a great day of racing at the home of South African motorsport - See you at Kyalami!