Martin Steyn put an end to the BMWs good run of fortune by scoring a victory in his Alfa 147 GTA in two spectacular production car encounters at Zwartkops this weekend.

Martin Steyn put an end to the BMWs good run of fortune by scoring a victory in his Alfa 147 GTA in two spectacular production car encounters at Zwartkops this weekend.

In Class A, both races produced titanic struggles between the BMW- and Alfa Romeo brigades, in front of a 12 500-strong crowd at rounds nine and ten of the production car championship at the Pretoria circuit this weekend.

Alfa Squadra Corse team leader Martin Steyn blasted his LG Alfa Romeo 147 GTA into the lead at the start of the opening race, closely pursued by Etienne van der Linde's works Castrol BMW 330i. Also within striking range were Morné Jurgens (LG Alfa Romeo 147 GTA), Kaye-Eddie BMW 330I drivers Johan Fourie and Steven Morris, plus Anthony Taylor in the second factory Castrol BMW 330i.

The frantic pace claimed its victims though, with Morris parking his BMW on the third lap with suspension damage, while a tough encounter between Fourie and Taylor saw Taylor's car hobble into the pits with a broken wheel rim.

Meanwhile Van der Linde forced his way into the lead when Steyn's Alfa faltered slightly on overheating tyres. Steyn fought back by setting a new lap record Van der Linde's BMW eventually crossed the finish line just three tenths of a second ahead of the Alfa.

Behind them, Fourie beat a determined Jurgens to the flag by an equally small margin. Leeroy Poulter (Champion Mercedes-Benz C320), Richard Sorensen (Titan Aviation BMW 330I) and Steve Wyndham (Ford Credit Falcon XR8) claimed respective fifth-, sixth- and seventh places.

The BMW and Alfa team leaders continued their fight in Race Two, and this time Steyn took a narrow victory ahead of Van der Linde. In the skirmish, Anthony Taylor and Steven Morris finished third and fourth, leading Fourie, Sorensen, Poulter and Wyndham to the flag. After holding an initial third place, Jurgen's slow-moving Alfa was forced into retirement.

Shaun van der Linde won both of the Class B races in his Castrol Mini Cooper S, setting a new lap record en route.

In the opening heat Phillip Kekana drove his Sasol Toyota RunX RSi brilliantly to snatch second place from Brian Martin's similar Havoline car. Bert Grogor (German Workshop Toyota Corolla RXi), Craig Nicholson (Sabat MINI Cooper S) and the turbodiesel Mercedes-Benz C270 CDI of Mark Allison followed them to the finish.

In the second encounter, Kekana slid his Toyota off the circuit on the opening lap and embarked on a furious charge through the field after rejoining in last place. This time, Grogor's Corolla RXi chased Van der Linde's Mini all the way to the flag while Brian Martin took the final podium place in his RunX RSi. Kekana's RunX and Nicholson's Mini completed the field.

Carlos Nobre (VW CitiGolf 1,6i) narrowly won the first Class C race from Mike O'Sullivan (Bluetooth Fiat Palio), Dave Compton (BumperTech Toyota Tazz) and Robi Beninca (Beninca Tech VW CitiGolf 1,6i).

Behind them Darren Murphy (Genuine Parts VW CitiGolf) staved off a determined challenge from Theunis Eloff (Bluetooth Fiat Palio) and Fanie de Bruin (Makita Ford Ikon 1,6i).

In the following round, O'Sullivan led from start to finish, scoring the Fiat Palio's first national race victory in this country. He was followed by the CitiGolfs of Beninca and Nobre, and Compton's Toyota Tazz. Fifth and sixth were Theunis Eloff (CAR Rookie of the Day) in his Fiat Palio and Cor Kraamwinkel (Daihatsu Sirion 1300).

Both of the non-championship Honda Cup races were won by Lawrence Boshoff (Net IQ Honda Ballade 180i), ahead of Doug Reekie's similar, ConfigOnLine Honda.