Wednesday, September 4, 2013

BPCC: Audi S4 quattros in Tough Zwartkops Battles

Audi South Africa Press Release

From the outset of the Zwartkops race weekend the Audi S4 quattros were a model of consistency, with all four entries qualifying in sequence. This set the stage for a race weekend where the Audi S4 quattros were never far apart.

The fastest of the Audi S4 quattro qualifiers was defending champion Michael Stephen (A1 – Engen Xtreme) who put in a best time of 1:05.482 for fourth fastest while his teammate, Tschops Sipuka (A2 – Engen Xtreme), posted a fastest qualifying time of 1:05.613 for seventh. That meant a difference of 0:00.131 of a second – and there were the two Audi S4 quattros of Gennaro Bonafede (A32 – Ferodo Racing) and Melvill Priest (A7 – Mueller Sports Medicine) between them.

Race one saw the Audi S4 quattro racers mirror the qualifying results, with one change, Priest finished ahead of Bonafede. Here the championship leader, Stephen, crossed the line for fourth place followed by Priest, Bonafede and Sipuka. With a reverse grid for the second race, this put the Audi S4 quattro racers right up front – where they made the most of the opportunity.

Here Priest led the charge to bring home a race victory, followed in short order by Bonafede and Sipuka. Stephen crossed the finish line for fifth place, with just one of the Audi rivals managing to squeeze in between the Audi S4 quattros.

The final race of the day saw the racers in an intense battle for position, pushing hard from the moment the lights went out right to the chequered flag. Bonafede and Stephen led the Audi S4 quattro racers, holding second and third position while Sipuka was in a battle for fifth.

Priest opted to pull out of the third race before completing as a loss of power saw him decide that retirement was a better option than risking serious damage to his race engine. While he did not finish the final race, he had done enough to ensure a seventh place overall for the day, just behind Sipuka. Bonafede and Stephen claimed third and fourth respectively.

The field heads to Killarney on Saturday, 5 October, for the penultimate round of the championship and Stephen now enjoys a 37 point lead on the field with Bonafede in fourth, Sipuka in fifth and Priest in sixth place. The remaining two rounds of the season are certain to produce some of the most intense and exciting moments yet.

Audi South Africa

Photos by MotorPics

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Michael Stephen A1 - Audi S4 - Terry Moss Racing

Tschops Sipuka A2 - Audi S4 - Terry Moss Racing

Melvill Priest A7 - Audi S4 - VMP Motorsport

Gennaro Bonafede A32 - Audi S4 - Ferodo Racing Team / VMP Motorsport