But after a win for van der Linde in the first heat at Kyalami and two solid finishes from Taylor the pair find themselves at the top of the Class A points ladder. Taylor leads van der Linde by just two points and is level with Class T contender Graham Nathan in the overall championship.
The BMWs have always gone well in Cape Town and with Taylor and van der Linde in resurgent form, the Team Afrox pair will be in a confident frame of mind. But both will be well aware of the fact that there are will be half a dozen or more potential winners waiting to bring them back to earth.
Reigning champion Shaun Watson-Smith and team-mate Michael Stephen, in the Xtreme Team Audi A4 entries, are both potential winners and highly experienced campaigners. The same applies to former champion Leeroy Poulter who will again have the support of Tschops Sipuka in the Sasol Nissan 350Z squad.
Marco dos Santos (SAM Racing Tubular Technical Contruction Nissan 350Z) went well at Kyalami with reigning Can-Am champion Darren Lobb (SAM Racing DK Woodcraft Nissan 350Z) showing potential in his first Production Car outing. But the biggest danger to Taylor and company could come from local favourite Johan Fourie in the JFR Audi A4.
Fourie just missed out on last year’s championship and combines dollops of skill with aggression and, on his home circuit will be tough to beat. Melvill Priest (Lenovo/MiKar Audi A4) had a disappointing outing at Kyalami but is another potential winner and has the added incentive of wanting to bounce back to avoid playing the catch up game later in the season.
With so many potential winners and closely matched machinery, the Class A fight won’t be the place for the faint of heart. In terms of picking a winner the pin and entry list method will suffice.
If Kyalami is anything to go by Class T is going to see a season long battle emerge between early leader Graham Nathan (SEAT SA/Kaye Eddie Cupra), reigning champion Iain Pepper in the PG Glass Golf GTi and multiple SA champion Gary Formato in the SMD Group Ford Focus ST.
Nathan got off to a fast start with two wins to join Taylor at the top of the overall rankings, Pepper was as tenacious as ever and first time out Formato must have been more than happy with two third places for the Ford. Look to the highly experienced trio to resume hostilities with a vengeance in the Cape.
There were steady Kyalami performances from Engen VW Cup old boys Curt Alchin (Bodyman Golf GTi), Graham Donker (Mini Maxi Panelbeaters Golf GTi) and Gary van Heerden in the Webcom/Soviet VW GTi. Hopefully van Heerden and Regardt Roets will be out in the Opel MPCs in Cape Town and will be joined by Hein Bose and Etienne Prinsloo in the new Mazda MPS entries.
Experienced former SA champion Philip Kekana links up with Nathan in the SEAT squad, Shawn Duminy is set to join Formato in a second Ford Focus and, in a class that is becoming ever more competitive, Mark Silverwood showed potential in the ex works MINI Cooper.
The Class B battle has been given impetus by the appearance of Danie van Niekerk (Stanger Auto Ford Focus) who has thrown a cat among the Mazda/Toyota battle. Veteran Ben Morgenrood, the reigning champion in the Mazda Motorsport/Morgenrood Auto RX8, won both heats at Kyalami with van Niekerk edging out the Sasol Toyota RunX pair of Riyad Jaffer and former champion Dave Compton.
The quartet look set to do battle once more but could be troubled by local Kosie Swanepoel in the Barnett Auto Spares RunX. Swanepoel is another Engen VW Cup refugee and knows Killarney like the back of his hand.
Theunis Eloff (Motorsport Infinity Fiat Grande Punto) and team-mate Lindsay Steyn, in a Fiat Palio, took the Kyalami honours in Class C. The pair can expect a Cape backlash from reigning champion Robi Beninca in the BTS VW Citi.