Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Exciting new beginnings for Bonafede! - Audi S4 in SA

Gennaro Bonafede Press Release

After almost three seasons in the thick of battle at the sharp end of the Bridgestone Production Car class T championship, 21-year old Gennaro Bonafede will be stepping up to the challenge of class A.

He bows out of class T on a high note after driving the Ferodo backed Volkswagen Golf 6 GTI to a win at Phakisa earlier this month and currently holds third in the championship fight.

He makes his debut in class A at the wheel of the Audi S4 that was raced earlier this year by Johan Fourie. The car will appear in an exciting new Ferodo livery and is being prepared by Vic Maharaj’s VMP Motorsport concern in Randburg which also prepares the Audi raced by Melvill Priest, and drivers will share data, ideas and resources.

Initial testing of the Audi was encouraging and it didn’t take long to make the decision to race the Audi. “I’ve only done a couple of tests, but we decided to grab the bull by the horns and race the car. Basically we will treat the remainder of the season as extended tests under race conditions. There’s no better way of getting used to a car than by racing it,” said a very enthusiastic Bonafede at a Zwartkops test.

“This way we will get some seat time under race conditions so we are in a position to start 2013 with a much better understanding of the car and in a position to race for wins.”

As for his prospects, Bonafede, an official Monster Energy athlete, was at pains to point out how different the driving styles are. “The brakes are very, very good. Power feels quite similar but the Quattro system is just amazing. Its insane how quickly it accelerates out of the corners. Even the lines you take in corners are different in the Audi compared to the front wheel drive Golf.”

There’s no doubt that Bonafede’s progress in the Ferodo Audi S4 will be watched very closely by rival Audi drivers, but as Maharaj pointed out, “it is his first race in the car and we aren’t looking for results. It is really a case of getting a feel for the car and technique required to get the best out of it.”

Article and photos by Steve Wicks

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