Mini, Renault join Zwartkops fray
STEP ASIDE, STEPHEN: Michael Stephen is the current leader in the local production car championship, but will the new entrants steal his limelight at Zwartkops this weekend?
The fourth round of the WesBank Super Series returns to the Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria this weekend where the Bridgestone Production Car championship will be bolstered with a number of fresh additions.
Mini and Renault will join the Class T battle on Saturday May 26 2012, five months into the season.
Gavin Cronje makes his return to production car racing in the purpose-built racing Mini Cooper JCWs, while Lee Thompson will line up alongside him.
Few punters have seen the new racing Renault Megane, to be piloted by Devin Robertson, although it’s expected to upset the current Class T status quo.
The rest of the field, however, will likely view Saturday’s racing as business as usual as Graeme Nathan, in his VW Golf GTI, intends to hold on to his championship lead.
Michael van Rooyen (Opel Astra OPC) completed a successful test session at Zwartkops and the team seems to have resolved its earlier technical gremlins, which means van Rooyen will looking for his second successive win following his PE performance.
Gary Formato and Shaun Duminy (Ford Focus ST) struggled for pace in PE and the team will be looking to regain their championship lead in Gauteng.
With five manufacturers lining up in Class T, the action should be intense, also the big hitters in Class A will certainly not be resting on their laurels.
Six former national champions are included in the Class A field and four different drivers have so far in 2012 taken race wins.
Defending champion, Michael Stephen (Audi S4) holds the highest win tally; he’ll be joined by team mate Tschops Sipuka, who generally seems to do better in the longer third race.
The BMW charge will be headed by Etienne van der Linde and Anthony Taylor, separated by only four points with two wins apiece.
Consistency is key for Hennie Groenewald (Subaru WRX) who tops the point’s table even though he has not yet taken a race win this season. Together with team mate Richard Pinard, the Subaru team will be hunting down that elusive victory.
BMW drivers Kishoor Pitamber and John Mayer return to the track where their Bridgestone Production Car careers began less than three months ago while, following Thompson’s move to the Mini, Darren Lobb will race for BMW.