Saturday, November 2, 2013

BPCC: Another Audi S4 podium ends off a very exciting third race at Kyalami

By Johan Laubscher

The third and final race of the South African Bridgestone Production Cars Championship has concluded at Kyalami. Michael Stephen was crowned as the new champion after the first two races and the third race had further good results for the Audi teams.

The grid for race three saw Etienne van der Linde on pole in his BMW, followed by Gennaro Bonafede’s Audi S4 in second and Michael Stephen’s S4 in third. The remaining two Audis, the cars of Tschops Sipuka and Melvill Priest, lined up sixth and seventh respectively.

Michael Stephen again used his teammate’s car in race three, as was the case in race two, following his issues in the first race. Sipuka lined up on the grid with Stephen’s repaired Audi S4.

The final race of the season, race three on the day, got underway with the BMW leading from the front. There was a tremendous battle for second behind the BMW of van der Linde. Hennie Groenewald in the Subaru was battling hard with Gennaro Bonafede in second and Priest in fourth. The battle continued for the bulk of the race before both Priest and Bonafede dropped back. Stephen had remained in touch with the leading group and pounced during the final few laps. He moved up to second, finishing ahead of Groenewald in third. Gennaro Bonafede finished fourth with continuing fuel pressure issues and Melvill Priest nursed his car across the line for sixth ahead of Sipuka in seventh. 

This concluded the final round of the 2013 Bridgestone Production Cars Championship. It was a great season which saw many Audi S4 victories and podiums, and most importantly, Michael Stephen clinched his third consecutive Class A drivers’ title.