With a total of 35 entries and hostile confrontations expected throughout the field, the Production Car echelon should provide many of the Vodacom Power Tour’s highlights at the East London Grand Prix circuit next Saturday (May 24). -

- Rounds 7 and 8 of this year’s South African Production Car Championship could see unexpected winners in each of the five participating classes. Meanwhile, following a year’s absence from the country’s fastest race circuit, lap records should be the order of the day. -

- In Class A, ten drivers from six teams will represent four car manufacturers. Topping the entry list will be the factory-assisted Castrol BMW 330i entries of Etienne van der Linde and Anthony Taylor, but they will come under relentless attack from various quarters. -

- Competing on their home track with the marque&’s management in attendance, the Williams Racing Mercedes-Benz equipe will be under pressure to produce podium placings. Their Mercedes C320 models will be driven by Leeroy Poulter and Gary Formato, under the respective Champion EON and AMG banners. They could outpace the BMW brigade down the life-long East London circuit straight, as could the Ford Credit Falcon XR8 of Steve Wyndham. -

- Another car that should benefit from its remarkable straight-line pace will be the LG Flatron Alfa Romeo 156 GTA of Martin Steyn. -

- Defending BMW honour as privateers will be the Vaal-HP team’s Richard Sorensen and Mark Allison, plus the Kaye-Eddie equipe’s Reghardt Roets and Steve Morris. With neither team assisted by the factory, affection will be totally absent in the BMW ranks, and the racing fierce. -

- In Class B, the new Havoline Toyota Corolla RunX RSi of veteran Brian Martin will be measured against the older, race-proven German Workshop Corolla RXi of youngster Bert Grogor. -

- That apart, a season-long war will be continued between Dawie Brough (Prominent Paints Honda Ballade V-TEC), Mike O’Sullivan (OKI Honda V-TEC) and Jessie Adams in his Ray Ban Ballade V-TEC. Class C will be an all Honda Ballade 180i affair, with old-timer Lawrence Boshoff the man to beat in his Orbit Coach Works example. Challenging him will be the likes of Craig Nicholson (Sabat Honda) and Doug Reekie (Ray Ban Honda), plus OKI Honda drivers Ian Long and Molefe Lebethe. -

- Current SA Junior Production Car Champion Dave Compton will be the Class D favourite in his Toyota Tazz 1600. His toughest opposition should come from Clinton Weston (Furman Glass Ford Ikon), Angus Thompson (Garonga Safari VW CitiGolf), James Menin (Le Grange Opel Corsa 160 GSi) and Miguel Pasqualli (Ford Racing Ikon). -

- Making a welcome return to the class after a protracted illness will be Fanie de Bruin, driving one of Ford’s Ikons under the Murray & Roberts flag. His progress will be watched with interest, as will that of Jody Powell in his STER Ford Fiesta RSi. -

- Darren Murphy (VW Parts CitiGolf) and Riyad Jaffer (Toyota Tazz 1300) will be the men to beat in Class E, chased by the likes of Echart Schoenknecht (Steve’s Auto CitiGolf) plus Opel Corsa 140i drivers Francois van Zyl and Robert Preuss. -

- The Production Car competitors will tackle two races - an eight-lapper in the morning and a ten-lapper in the afternoon - next Saturday.