This year’s South African Production Car Championship enters its home straight at AA Kyalami next Saturday (November 2), during the 2002 Vodacom Power Tour’s fourth visit to the circuit. Rounds 17 and 18 of the season’s only title chase for near-standard passenger cars should see 43 competitors on the starting grid, with many scores left to be settled in the five competing classes. -
- Topping the Class A entry will be the Castrol team’s Shaun van der Linde, Michael Briggs and Etienne van der Linde, in identical BMW 330i models. Though Shaun van der Linde has clinched this year’s Class A title, he is still locked in a fight for the Overall 2002 Production Car Championship, and needs two race victories at AA Kyalami. That could prove a tall order, with various other competitors able and willing to upset his plans. Their onslaught will be led by Ford Credit Falcon XR8 racer Steve Wyndham, who scored overall wins in two of the year’s past four races. Wyndham could certainly win at AA Kyalami, as could Kaye-Eddie BMW 330i team drivers Reghardt Roets and Hennie Groenewald, plus Richard Sorensen in his similar, Compaq-backed BMW. Rounding out the class, and hoping for a change of luck after crashing out of the previous two race meetings will be Leeroy Poulter in the EON Racing Mercedes-Benz C320. -
- Works Toyota driver Charl Wilken tops the Class B points log – and strongly disputes the overall Production Car title – in his Castrol Corolla RSi. He has to score double race victories at Kyalami, backed by Toyota team mate Mark Cronje in an identical Castrol Corolla RSi. Their biggest challenge will certainly come from privateer Martin Steyn, always on the Class B podium pace in his LG Flatron Honda Ballade V-TEC. Other drivers who could interfere at the front will be Mario da Sousa (Imperial Toyota Corolla RSi), talented youngster Bert Grogor (German Workshop Opel Astra 2,0 16V), Brian Luyt (Honda Ballade V-TEC) and Brian Martin (Havoline Toyota Corolla RXi). -
- In Class C Ian Long (Honda Spares Ballade 180i) and Lawrence Boshoff (Orbit Coach Honda Ballade 180i) are locked at the top of the points ladder with Curt Alchin (Body Man Honda Ballade) in close attendance. Other drivers to watch will be Mike O’Sullivan (Honda Spares Ballade), Doug Reekie (Ray-Ban Honda), Hector North (East Rand Mall Honda) and Graeme Nathan (AutoZone Honda). -
- Five manufacturers will be represented in Class D, with the current title leader Phillip Kekana in his Sasol Toyota Tazz 1600. Able to displace him at Kyalami will be Miguel Pasqualli (Honda Ballade 160i), Dawie de Villiers (Castrol Daihatsu Sirion) and Etienne du Toit in his M&R Ford Fiesta RSi. Not in line for the title lead but certainly able to win races will be Clinton Weston (Makita Ford Fiesta RSi), Irshad Jaffer (Castrol Daihatsu Sirion), Carlos Nobre (VW CitiGolf), Cor Kraamwinkel (Goldi Chicken Opel Corsa GSi) and Angus Thompson (Garonga Safari VW CitiGolf). Finally, returning after a massive shunt two months ago will be motoring scribe Craig Nicholson, in his Sabat Toyota Tazz 1600. -
- Jody Powell (Ster Opel Corsa 1,4) currently leads both the Class E- and Overall Junior Production Car Championships, marginally ahead of Dave Compton (Toyota Tazz 1300). They will face a stern attack from VW CitiGolf pilots Darren Murphy, Jesse Adams and Hans Moore, plus Nico de Waal (Opel Corsa 1,4) and Riyad Jaffer (Castrol Toyota Tazz 1300).