Monday, October 29, 2012

Saving the best for last! - Gennaro Bonafede S4

Gennaro Bonafede Press Release

Twenty two year old Gennaro Bonafede enjoyed a fairytale ending to the season and in so doing became the youngest driver to win a Bridgestone Production Car race outright.

Driving the Ferodo supported Audi S4 Quattro, Bonafede endured a race meeting of extremes. A problem with the motor on Friday saw the team fit a new engine overnight which meant the Pretoria University student went into qualifying in a car that was pretty much an unknown quantity. “I’ve raced on this track in the class T Golf, but the class A Audi is so much faster it is in a different league altogether. It is such a pity we had the problem yesterday, so I’ll just take the day as it comes,” commented the professional Monster Energy athlete.

Qualifying saw Bonafede set the seventh fastest time and a workmanlike performance in the opening sprint race saw him come home in fifth place after a hard and often bruising race. More importantly, he’d been easy on the car in order to look after tyres as cars are not allowed into the pits for repairs between races. Unfortunately the car would not run properly and by the time the team had traced the problem to a fuel pump, it was too late for him to make the race.

With clouds building-up steadily as the afternoon wore on Bonafede was hoping for rain. “I love racing in the rain,” he remarked as he mentioned that the forecasts had predicted rain almost all day.

His quiet rain dance must’ve worked as it started raining shortly before the final race. However, thanks not having a result from race two he started the final race as last of the Class A runners. It was a challenge he relished!

By the end of the opening lap he was up to fourth place and a lap later he was closing on the leaders. It didn’t take long before he was embroiled in a great battle with former South African champions Hennie Groenewald (Subaru) and Tschops Sipuka (Audi). His axing of Sipuka was swift and a lap later he was glued to the Subaru’s exhaust.

Starting the final lap he was able to challenge for the lead before making the move stick at turn three. He was in scintillating form and quickly pulled away to claim a memorable win in teeming conditions. “I can’t believe it. I took different lines to find the grippy part of the track and Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive system gave me huge confidence. It’s remarkable how much grip there is in the wet but it was a tough race and I was on the limit all the time. Everyone in the team from Ronnie Erasmus, Brandon More, Michael Fiess and Vic Maharaj all played vital roles. Thanks guys!!” he enthused.

Ferodo’s marketing guru Ronnie Erasmus was equally happy with the performance. “A win in the last race of the year was the perfect end to a very successful championship winning season for Ferodo.”

Article and Pic by Steve Wicks