Thursday, January 3, 2013

Audi Racing History in South Africa Part 9: The reign of the A4 quattro

Audi Racing History in South Africa Part 9 of 10 
The reign of the A4 quattro

By Johan Laubscher

The A4 quattros had been ever improving since their debut in 2005. Coming off the championship winning season in 2007, 2008 saw the continuation of the reign of quattro. Multiple championship titles awaited the Audi teams during the years that followed. 


Production Car Championship: Johan Fourie stamped his authority in 2008, starting his reign in Production Cars. There were three teams with four Audi A4 cars in total. Johan Fourie was in his own team, Johan Fourie Racing. VMP Motorsport again had Melvill Priest driving. Terry Moss Racing had drivers Shaun Watson-Smith and Michael Stephen. The championships had a rule change during the mid-season, allowing the class A cars to run larger wheels. The Audi teams fitted the cars with RS4 bodywork to allow room for the larger wheels. The cars were in fact still Audi A4 3.2 quattro models, despite having the appearance of Audi RS4 cars. At Zwartkops Michael Stephen, who was in the championship hunt, experienced technical difficulties during race one on the day. Stephen used his teammate, Watson-Smith’s car for the second race on the day. Johan Fourie dominated the season taking the 2008 Class A title.

2008 Michael Stephen A4 (MP)
2008 Shaun Watson-Smith A4 (MP)
2008 Melvill Priest A4 (MP)
2008 Johan Fourie A4 (MP)
2008 Stephen uses Watson-Smith’s car at Zwartkops (JL)


Production Car Championship: 2009 would be a carbon copy of 2008, with the same driver and team combinations. Johan Fourie once again showed his dominance taking back-to-back Class A titles. Shaun Watson-Smith hanged up his gloves after 2009 as he ended his active motor racing commitments.

2009 Michael Stephen A4 (MP)
2009 Shaun Watson-Smith A4 (MP)
2009 Melvill Priest A4 (MP)
2009 Johan Fourie A4 (MP)

Superstars: At the end of 2009 the Italian Superstars Championship had a round at Kyalami. Audi Sport Italia entered two Audi RS4 cars for the event driven by Ermanno Dionisio and Luca Rangoni. Race two on the day saw a highveld thunderstorm hitting Kyalami and Luca Rangoni and quattro came home with the race win.

2009 Luca Rangoni RS4 (MP)
2009 Ermanno Dionisio RS4 (MP)

Footage from the 2009 Superstars race two at Kyalami HERE.

Gauteng Regionals: An Audi A3 was entered in the SuperHatch series. The car was driven by Jonathan du Toit and competed in Class A of the series.

2009 Jonathan du Toit A3 (RP)

Cape Town Regionals: In Cape Town there are two series based at Killarney for older cars to compete. A number of old Audis took part in the Fine Cars/Classic Cars series.

Various Audis in Fine/Classic Cars (AA)


Production Car Championship: The Audi teams faced an uphill challenge in 2010. The Affrox BMW team introduced the new BMW 335i and with its turbocharged engine it made a white wash of the 2010 season. The Audi teams tried their best to compete. Only two Audi teams were present in 2010. Terry Moss Racing had two cars for Michael Stephen and Tschops Sipuka, who was returning to the team. Reigning champion, Johan Fourie, was again in his own team, Johan Fourie Racing. 2010 would also see the introduction of the first “Endurance race,” a two hour event at Killarney. During the Killarney round Michael Stephen’s car had technical issues that the team could not trace the problem in time after the first two races on the day. The team decided to swop the two cars of Stephen and Sipuka as Michael was in the championship hunt and needed the healthier car for the third race on the day, the two hour endurance race.

2010 proved that the BMW 335i had moved the performance goal posts and the Audi teams knew they would have to respond. And respond they did in 2011.

2010 Michael Stephen A4 (MP)
2010 Tschops Sipuka A4 (MP)
2010 Johan Fourie A4 (MP)

Cape Town Regionals: A privately built A4 B7 with a turbocharged engine debuted in the Cape Town Midas Clubmans Championship based at Killarney. The car was driven by Andre Johnson. A number old of Audis also took part in the Fine Cars/Classic Cars series which is based in Cape Town for older vehicles. 

Various Audis in Fine/Classic Cars (VH)
2010 Andre Johnson A4 (VH)

Superstars: At the end of 2010 the Italian Superstars Championship held another round at Kyalami. Audi Sport Italia entered four cars for drivers Ermanno Dionisio, Alberto Cola, Simone Campedelli and Riccardo Bossi. The now aging Audi RS4 cars had strong performances but no race wins on the day. This was the last Superstars event held in South Africa.

2010 Alberto Cola RS4 (MP)
2010 Simone Campedelli RS4 (MP)
 2010 Ermanno Dionisio RS4 (MP)
2010 Riccardo Bossi RS4 (MP)

Footage from the 2010 Superstars at Kyalami HERE.

Audi Racing History in South Africa article links:
Part 1: The introduction
Part 2: The beginning
Part 3: The rally legend came to SA
Part 4: quattro debuts on the track
Part 5: The mighty S4 GTO
Part 6: World class Super Touring
Part 7: The end of an era
Part 8: The return of the rings
Part 9: The reign of the A4 quattro
Part 10: The S4 supercharged arrival

Photo sources:
MP = MotorPics from
RP = RacePics from
VH = Vernon Hope from
AA = Access Auto from
JL = Johan Laubscher

Article cover photo = 
MotorPics from
Bottom cover photo = Johan Laubscher / Tarek Ramchani 

All the images are labeled with an abbreviation within brackets in their caption which indicates the photo source as listed above.