Monday, February 16, 2015

NPCC: All systems go for Audi Sasolracing‏

Audi Sasolracing Press Release

Final preparations have reached fever pitch at the Audi Sasolracing workshop ahead of the opening round of the 2015 National Production Car Championship at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 21st February.

The pair of Audi S4 quattros will feature a bold new Sasolracing livery when Hennie Groenewald and Gennaro Bonafede roll out of the pits for the first qualifying session of the year on Saturday morning.

Solutions from the sometimes hard lessons learned during the 2014 campaign have been engineered into the race cars as they face a tough eight round series that sees a new venue, the return of an old favourite and a new race day format on the menu. The series organisers have tweaked the series to improve the show, creating one single race between the former Class A and Class T machinery and three equal-length races to keep race fans entertained.

Zwartkops Raceway, west of Pretoria has been kind to the Audi Sasolracing team, who scored three wins and four podium places at the six races held at the 2.5km long circuit last year.

Team Manager Vic Maharaj is upbeat about his team’s chances of mounting a sustainable championship challenge, citing the improvements in their performance during the second half of last year’s season:

“The team was built from scratch last year and it took a while for everyone in the team to understand each other.  This year, we will hit the ground running and as long as we have three clean, error free races each weekend we race, we will be in a good position to challenge for the championship”.

“We have rebuilt the engines and gearboxes: there is nothing lacking in the cars.  It will be an interesting first few races to see how the new performance equalization rules play out”.

Hennie Groenewald is raring to get racing again after the three month closed season:

“Our testing has gone well but we will only find out where we are when we hit the track in qualifying.  The change in regulations will be interesting as we will be racing side-by-side with different drivers in different cars.  

I have to package my weekends differently with three races but the most important criteria will be to finish every race.  I’m looking forward to the year and want to be in a position to challenge for the championship”.

Gennaro Bonafede, third in last year’s championship standings, is bubbling with excitement around the new production car regulations:

“Initial testing against the front-wheel drive cars shows they will be marginally faster in a straight line but the four-wheel drive cars will eat them alive in the corners.  The racing is going to sizzle and the real winners will be the fans.

“My plan is to give my all on every single lap of every race and I’ll see where that leaves me.  I want to represent the Sasol brand as best I can as I enter my second year with the team.  The first event is going to be really interesting”.

The Audi Sasolracing team welcomes race fans to come and chat to the drivers and view the race cars in the pits during the day.

In addition to fielding two competitive racecars in 2015, Sasol is also the fuel partner for the National Production Car Championship.

Championship Calendar:

21 February - Zwartkops Raceway - Pretoria
11 April - Killarney Raceway - Cape Town
13 June - Aldo Scribante - Port Elizabeth
11 July - East London Circuit - East London
8 August - Zwartkops Raceway - Pretoria
29 August - Dezzi Raceway - Port Shepstone
24 October - Killarney Raceway - Cape Town
21 November - Kyalami - Johannesburg

Photo credit: David Ledbitter