Thursday, February 21, 2013

South African Production Cars kicks off at Kyalami with four Audi S4

By Johan Laubscher

The 2013 South African Bridgestone Production Car Championship gets underway at Kyalami this weekend. The Audi representation remains unchanged from 2012 as the same four Audi S4 race cars will line up on the grid. Terry Moss Racing returns with Michael Stephen and Tschops Sipuka. Reigning champion Stephen will be aiming to become the Class A champion for the third consecutive time during 2013. Terry Moss Racing will be joined by VMP Motorsport who will again be running a two-car team for Melvill Priest and Gennaro Bonafede.

The four Audi S4 race cars will face-off against the Class A grid which totals nine cars (provisional entry list). Two new Subaru Impreza WRX STi sedans and three BMW 335i race cars, along with the four Audis, complete the entry list.

Consistency proved to be the weapon of choice for Michael Stephen during 2011 and 2012, which ensured that he was crowned the champion for both seasons. Along with the double championship for Stephen the Audi S4 also remains unbeaten in the drivers’ championship since its introduction during 2011.

2013 should be another very exiting season with top quality drivers, cars and teams all battling on track for the South African championship. All three manufactures each achieved a race win during the three races at the 2012 season finale. This bodes very well for the upcoming event and the rest of the year. Gennaro Bonafede took his debut Class A victory that day, during a wet and wild third and final race on the day. 

The 2012 season finale was held at Kyalami, and South African fans will be delighted that the 2013 season opener will again be held there. This is of special significance as before the 2012 finale the previous round held at Kyalami was all the way back at the beginning of 2011. Various issues behind the scenes prevented the national championships from taking place at Kyalami, thus meaning that Zwartkops hosted most of the Transvaal events during 2011 and 2012. But for now everyone is delighted to see the national motorsport scene returning to what is arguably South Africa’s most famous race circuit.

It should be another impressive year for the Audi squad. The Audi S4 is a proven package and should be expected to run at the sharp end of the field. That said, the opposition are as strong and well prepared as always and the on track action will very closely fought.

Provisional Class A Entry List 
1 Michael Stephen Engen Xtreme/Tsogo (TMR) Sun Audi S4
2 Tschops Sipuka Engen Xtreme/Tsogo Sun (TMR) Audi S4
7 Melvill Priest Meuller Sports Medicine (VMP) Audi S4
8 Hennie Groenewald Sasol Subaru 
Impreza WRX Sti
9 Richard Pinard Sasol Subaru Impreza WRX Sti
10 Etienne van der Linde Afrox BMW 335i
14 Johan Fourie Afrox BMW 335i
32 Gennaro Bonafede Ferodo (VMP) Audi S4
81 John Mayer Tricor Signs BMW 335i

More information:
Production Cars FB page

Photos from the Audi Motorsport in South Africa FB page / Johan Laubscher