Ford Racing’s Production Car Championship team endured a frustrating start to the season at Kyalami yesterday with the highlight being two second place finishes for the class C Ford Ikon of Clint Weston.

Weston qualified the Murray and Roberts Foundry Ikon in pole position for both races, but, like some others, was put to the back of the grid by officials after confusion about new tyre regulations.

He thus had to fight his way through the 11-car field on both occasions, driving superbly to almost catch the leader. In race one, he finished 1.5 seconds behind the winner, while in the second, he got even closer to finish just 0.6 seconds in arrears.

“It was great to be the fastest car out there this weekend and it bodes well for the rest of the season,” said Weston. “However, the confusion about the tyre regulations was disappointing as it cost me two wins. It was fun fighting my way through the field, but I would have preferred being out front and trying to beat a few of the class B cars.”

Steve Wyndham was disappointed not to make the races after his Ford Credit Ford Focus ST170 developed engine problems. The car showed great promise during the Thursday and Friday practice sessions before it damaged an engine. The unit was replaced, but Wyndham was not entirely happy with the replacement unit and did want to risk further damage to it.

“After our early practice sessions I was looking forward to racing as I felt that we would have been competitive, so it was unfortunate to suffer the engine problems,” explained Wyndham. “We could have chanced it with the replacement engine, but there was no point in possibly causing serious damage to it. It is puzzling to us as the units are usually extremely reliable. We will strip both engines when we return to base to determine exactly what it is that is causing the problem and have them repaired by the next round.”