Double winner Jason takes title lead from race 1 winner Nathan

Jason Loosemore moved to the top of the Astron Energy Polo Cup championship title with a two race to one overall victory over title rival Nathan Victor in an action packed Zwartkops’ Extreme Festival triple header on Saturday.  Derick Smalberger took a popular maiden Masters class victory while Volkswagen Motorsport driver Kyle Visser was once again top rookie.

There was a bit of a shake-up in qualifying as one of the two men fighting it out on top of the table, Jason Loosemore put his Security Fencing & Alarms Team Red Polo on pole position, while main rival Nathan Victor’s Summit Racing Polo struggled in eighth. Multiple regional PABAR VW challenge champion Rory Atkinson was the surprise on his Polo Cup return after many a season in second aboard his Industry Petroleum version.

Never to be underestimated on his home turf driving a car of similar power and performance to his regional race car, Rory none the less shocked his rivals. He pipped Ethan Coetzee’s JRT Racing Experience Polo, a mightily impressive AF Fans Team Red lass Tyler Robinson, Fast 5 lad Mo Karodia, and on form Team Red driver Roshaan Goodman.

The top six then headed out to Superpole, where oval track champion Loosemore had little trouble in securing the prime starting position. Karodia, Coetzee and Robinson restored the status quo behind him over upstart Atkinson in fifth, with Goodman sixth. Behind them, Jeandre Marais’ Syrabix Team Red car lined up seventh ahead of Nathan Victor. 

Charl Smalberger’s Sabertek entry and Volkswagen Motorsport rookie Kyle Visser shared the fifth row, but Visser had a rival rookie to worry about for the first time as Bjorn Bertholdt started behind him in his Sizani Plastics machine. Dainfern Dental Dr Hannes Scheepers, Racing Spirit lad Nirav Sing, FSS International driver Pierluigi Muzzulini closed off the young gun Cup grid.

John Kruger turned in a lap that would easily have seen his Habot Performance Lubricants Polo into the top six Superpole, but as the over-50 year old Astron Energy Polo Masters start behind the rest in their own race. Instead he was on Masters pole position from rival Derick Smalberger’s Sabertek Polo, Wayne Masters’ Alpha FSS car, Chris Dale’s Dale Automation version, PABAR man Mike Barbaglia and Luigi Ferro’s second Alpha FSS car.

Loosemore made a great start to the first of the day’s three races, but immediately came under pressure from Karodia. Coetzee, Robinson and a quick starting Marais, Atkinson and Victor were in chase and Visser alone behind them as Charl Smalberger slipped back. Victor and Visser then jumped a scrappy Atkinson. It was also close up front, before Loosemore and Karodia gradually pulled away. 

Race leader Jason’s lot was further improved when Visser also picked his championship rival Victor off for sixth. Loosemore sucked up the pressure to lead Karodia home, with Coetzee, Robinson, Marais, Visser and Victor in pursuit. Dr Scheepers and Goodman also picked Atkinson off to close the top ten as Charl Smalberger fought back to eleventh from Bertholdt.

Masters winner John Kruger was next home with Pierluigi Muzzulini between him and second Masters man Derick Smalberger chasing, with Wayne Masters closing in. Nirav Singh was the next car home from the rest of the Masters field, Dale, Barbaglia, Ferro and Elio Muzzulini. 

Through all of that, while Nathan Victor had a first heat he’d likely prefer to forget, he still delivered the fastest lap to take the second race pole position from Karodia. Title rival and first race winner Loosemore started third from Coetzee, Robinson, Charl Smalberger and Visser. Kruger was meanwhile on Masters pole from Smalberger and Wayne Masters.

The top half dozen stayed in their grid positions for the first lap or so before Visser pulled a double move on Smalberger and Robinson, as Smalberger followed him by Robinson. Karodia had Victor under pressure this time around, with Loosemore a short distance adrift. Derick Smalberger led Kruger in the Masters when Atkinson went off to bring the safety car out to close up the pack.

That left a two lap shootout to the flag, as Victor got the drop to lead the pack home with Karodia fending Loosemore at bay, Coetzee holding Visser off and Smalberger in sixth. Tyler Robinson followed from Marais, Scheepers, Goodman, Bertholdt and Pierluigi Muzzulini. Next up Derick Smalberger was a delighted Masters winner, from Singh and the balance of the Masters, Kruger, Masters, Dale, Barbaglia, Ferro and Muzzulini.

Jason Loosemore was on pole position for the final from Coetzee, Karodia and Charl Smalberger. Race 2 winner and title contender Victor lined up at the back after not setting a second qualifying lap time. John Kruger started on Masters pole from Derick Smalberger and Wayne Masters. The top trio got away in that order, but Goodman made a lightning start to slot into third, although Smalberger was soon back ahead. Victor meantime made rapid progress into the top ten from the back.

The biggest action centred around Karodia passing Coetzee for second behind Loosemore. Smalberger followed ahead of Goodman under pressure with Rory Atkinson having a better race. Nathan Victor entertained as he found his way up to seventh ahead of Visser, Marais Pierluigi Muzzulini, Scheepers and Singh. John Kruger made it two Masters wins out of three over Wayne Masters and Derick Smalberger with Barbaglia, Dale, Ferro and Elio Muzzulini in chase after Bjorn Bertholdt and Tyler Robinson were rendered hors de combat.

So Jason Loosemore took the day with a two race to one success. Mo Karodia ended second from Ethan Coetzee, race 1 winner Nathan Victor,  Charl Smalberger and top rookie once again, Kyle Visser. That sees Loosemore into a slight title advantage over title rival Victor. Derick Smalberger was a popular Masters overall winner with his second race win, from log leader Wayne Masters, and double winner John Kruger.

Astron Energy Polo Cup now returns home to Gqeberha for its midseason fourth round at Aldo Scribante on Saturday and another day of blistering racing action on Saturday 29 June. 


Issued on behalf of Volkswagen Motorsport

What:Extreme Festival 2024 Round 3 Report
Where:Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria
When:Saturday 18 May 2024
Community:South Africa National

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