Despite challenges from BMW team-mate Hennie Groenewald and Alfa Romeo’s Regardt Roets, Anthony Taylor scored a pair of victories at Killarney’s rounds of the South African Production Car Championship on Saturday.Despite challenges from BMW team-mate Hennie Groenewald and Alfa Romeo’s Regardt Roets, Anthony Taylor scored a pair of victories at Killarney’s rounds of the South African Production Car Championship on Saturday.content here
Despite challenges from BMW team-mate Hennie Groenewald and Alfa Romeo’s Regardt Roets, Anthony Taylor scored a pair of victories at Killarney’s rounds of the South African Production Car Championship on Saturday.
Much of a huge Capetonian crowd’s attention was focused on Class A, where the factory teams of BMW, Nissan and Alfa-Romeo drew battle lines in Round Three and Four of the series.
At the start of Saturday’s opening race, Castrol BMW 330i drivers Taylor and Groenewald took the lead, closely pursued by Roets (Samsung Alfa Romeo 147 GTA), Duncan Vos (Sasol AE Nissan 350Z), Morne Jurgens (Samsung Alfa Romeo 147 GTA) and Gary Formato (Sasol AE Nissan 350Z).
On lap three, Jurgens’ Alfa and Vos’ Nissan collided at the end of Killarney’s back straight and skidded into the sand trap. Two laps later, Roets attacked the two leading BMWs and forced his Alfa into the lead. On the following lap, however, Roets’ Alfa ploughed off the circuit and into retirement due to brake failure.
Then, following the race, Groenewald’s BMW was found to be underweight and he was excluded from the results. Anthony Taylor claimed the win for BMW, followed by Formato, Marco da Cunha (Samsung Alfa Romeo 147 GTA) and Vos.
Race Two was less eventful with Taylor leading from start to finish ahead of Groenewald. Jurgens stayed out of trouble to finish third in his Alfa, ahead of Vos and Formato, whose Nissans both suffered from overheating brakes.
“After winning at Kyalami, I went into race one with the full weight penalty. The car performed well on a circuit that is not best suited to the E46 BMW. Crossing the line behind Hennie in Heat One meant that I could remove some weight. The lighter car was excellent,” Taylor said.
In Class B, pre-event favourite Shaun van der Linde’s Castrol Mini Cooper S blew an engine during Friday’s official qualifying session.
The current Sahara Production Car Champion had to start from the back of the grid, from where he scythed through the field in the first race.
Martin Steyn (GP Windscreens Cooper S) won, followed by Van der Linde, Craig Nicholson (Sabat Cooper S), Dave Compton (Sasol Toyota RunX RSi) and Dawie Brough (Motorola Fiat Stilo Abarth).
Nicholson led the second race from the start to the final lap. However, Nicholson’s car then suffered a broken CV joint and Steyn pipped him at the finish line by four hundredths of a second.
Compton grabbed third place in his Toyota, ahead of Van der Linde’s Mini and the Minolta Fiat Stilo Abarth of Mike O’Sullivan.
Fiat SA works driver Theunis Eloff survived torrid battles to win both of the day’s Class C races in his Palio. In the opening race, Eloff headed Shane Williams (Ford Ikon 1,6), Eckhardt Schoenknecht (Gilo VW Polo Tdi), Steve Wyndham (Makita Ford Ikon 1,6) and Molefe Lebethe (Fiat SA Palio) to the chequered flag.
In Round Four, Schoenknecht finished second, closely followed by Clint Weston (M&R Digidoors Ford Ikon 1,6), Trevor Tuck (Fiat Palio) and Shane Williams in his Ford Ikon. At the end of the meeting, Tuck was chosen as CAR Magazine’s Rookie of the Day.
The next round of the Sahara Production Car Championship will take place at the Free State Phakisa Raceway on April 30.