Surprise winners, close racing and robust driving tactics provided extra spice during Rounds 15 and 16 of this year’s South African Production Car Championship at the Free State Phakisa Raceway on Saturday (Octrober 4). The near-standard passenger car-racing brigade arrived at Phakisa with 33 competitors and much unresolved title business, to ensure hard racing in each of the five contested classes. -

- The biggest surprise came in Class A, where Capetonian Steve Wyndham blasted into the opening race lead with his previously uncompetitive Ford Credit Falcon XR8. Wyndham was sternly challenged by Etienne van der Linde (Castrol BMW 330i), Leeroy Poulter (Champion EON Mercedes-Benz C320), Reghardt Roets (Kaye-Eddie BMW 330i), and Martin Steyn (LG Flatron Alfa Romeo 156 GTA). Out of the equation, after pitting to replace a punctured tyre , was Anthony Taylor (Castrol BMW 330i). -

- Matters became robust on the fifth tour, when Wyndham, Van der Linde, Poulter and Steyn clashed going into Phakisa’s ultra-fast back sweep. Van der Linde spun, Steyn retired with suspension damage and Poulter stopped with a misfiring engine. All of which left an ecstatic Wyndham to claim his first victory of the season in the big Ford, followed by the BMWs of Roets, Etienne van der Linde, Shaun van der Linde and Steven Morris. -

- Race Two saw another surprise in the making, when Leeroy Poulter kept the Champion Mercedes-Benz in the lead for six laps. Then the engine misfire returned and Poulter slowed, leaving the Castrol BMWs of Anthony Taylor, Etienne van der Linde and Shaun van der Linde to take the first three places. Poulter soldiered home in fourth place, ahead of Martin Steyn’s Alfa and Wyndham’s Ford, which struggled on worn-out tyres after its first-race charge. -

- In Class B, points leader Dawie Brough spun his Prominent Paints Honda Ballade V-TEC in the opening race. That left the class victory to Mike O’Sullivan (OKI Honda Ballade V-TEC), followed home by Bert Grogor (German Workshop Toyota Corolla RSi) and a recovered Brough. Brough made no mistakes in Race Two, winning ahead of O’Sullivan and Grogor. -

- Lawrence Boshoff (Orbit Coach Honda Ballade 180i) won the opening Class C race ahead of Craig Nicholson (Sabat Honda Ballade 180i) and Gary Gordon in his similar car. Youngster Doug Reekie – who retired his Ray Ban Honda from Race One with engine bothers – returned with vengeance to win Race Two. He was followed by Boshoff and Nicholson. -

- The opening Class D race went to Clinton Weston in his Furman Glass Ford Ikon 160i, followed by James Menin (Le Grange Opel Corsa 160 GSi) and Miguel Pasqualli (Ford Racing Ikon 160i). Weston incurred a 60-second penalty in the second race, which left victory to Dave Compton (Bumpertech Toyota Tazz 1600), ahead of Menin and Fanie de Bruin (M&R Ford Ikon 160i). -

- Darren Murphy (VW Parts CitiGolf) won the opening Class E race, chased to the flag by Deon Crous (CitiGolf) and Francois van Zyl (Opel Corsa 160 GSi). Murphy got punted off the track in Race Two, leaving Crous to win comfortably in front of Eckhart Schoenknecht (Caltex VW CitiGolf) and Francois van Zyl. -

- The next rounds of the 2003 South African Production Car Championship will be held at the Port Elizabeth Aldo Scribante circuit on Saturday, November 1.