Monday, November 4, 2013

BPCC: Two titles for Audi in 2013 national championship

Audi South Africa Press Release

Audi is celebrating a strong 2013 performance on the national motorsport front. Not only did the Engen Xtreme Audi S4 quattro of Michael Stephen (A1) claim the title in the Bridgestone Production Car Championship, the brand also claimed the 2013 Manufacturer's Championship.

Stephen claimed the title with a second-place finish in race two of the day, making it three titles in a row behind the wheel of his Audi S4 quattro.

“We had good pace in practice but in qualifying a broken brake pressure switch caused a loss of brakes, then in race one I touched Hennie's car and suffered a broken radiator,” says Stephen. “Tschops offered me his car which was a great gesture on his part, and in race two Melvill allowed me past so I owe them both thanks for the help on the day.

“That second place finish felt like a win, it was a brilliant way to end the year to claim a third championship!”

In terms of the championship, the three Audi S4 quattros completed the year in fourth, fifth and sixth. Melvill Priest (A7 – Mueller Sports Medicine) finished the season in fourth, Gennaro Bonafede (A32 – Ferodo Racing) claimed fifth and Tschops Sipuka (A2 – Engen Xtreme) took sixth place.

Priest put in a good performance at the final round of the season, qualifying at the head of the field in his Audi S4 quattro.

“It has been one of those weekends that promised so much, but failed to deliver,” says Priest. “It started well with a first in qualifying, then third in race one, fourth in the second race and sixth in the final race of the day. I would have preferred a stronger showing at the end of the season, so we could really show of our pace.”

At this final round it was Gennaro Bonafede (A32 – Ferodo Racing) that posted the best overall result of the day. Bonafede finished in fourth overall after a tough weekend of racing, claiming two fourth places and a fifth position finish to end the season strong.

“It has been a season of ups and downs for us,” says Bonafede. “We had a decent day at the track, although it didn't develop as expected. A fuel pressure problem in the second race saw me slip down the order. The problem persisted in the final race as well, it was difficult to believe it was happening. The day promised a lot more but when considering how the season started, we finished on a good note. We'll make good use of the season to build a strong car for next season and challenge Michael for the title.”

Offering his car to his teammate, Sipuka effectively took himself out of contention for the day. He was left to circulate on the track, picking up just a few points rather than challenging for position.

“There was a championship to fight for,” says Sipuka. “That is why we race, to win. There would be no point in fighting for points in this final round at the cost of a championship title to the team. I did what needed to be done and we achieved what we set out to do this season – win another national title.”

With the season complete, the teams will turn their focus to the new season, but for at least a little while there will be an opportunity to enjoy the achievement of the 2013 season which again saw Audi, and the teams it supports, showcase Vorsprung durch Technik.

 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

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