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2013-08-05 14:08

IN THE LEAD: Etienne van der Linde leads the chasing pack during Round 6 of the Bridgestone Production Car series at Welkom's Phakisa Freeway. Motorpress

WELKOM, South Africa - Round 6 of the SA Production Car series had a fiery finale at Phakisa on Saturday (August 3 2013) with the 12-lap feature race red-flagged after Jacques Joubert's Golf GTi caught fire and stopped on the main straight.

Only Joubert’s swift action with his car's extinguisher – followed by marshals who ran a considerable distance to assist – saved the car from serious damage.
The teenager – nicknamed The Stiglet - was running third in Class T behind team mate Graeme Nathan and Gary Formato, leading on track for a first win with the latest EcoBoost Ford Focus ST.


In Class A the BMWs of Etienne van der Linde and Johan Fourie were running first and second, the Audi of Gennaro Bonafede third, when the red flags came.

Because only seven laps were completed it was deemed necessary to run a further four-lap sprint to complete the race distance. Fourie finished ahead – having timed the rolling restart perfectly to take the lead from his team mate into the left-hander at the end of the pits

Nevertheless, on combined times, Linde took the 14 points for the win.
In Class T, Formato again held off Nathan for his first win in the new Focus, with Shaun Duminy making it two Fords on the podium. Nathan, in good spirits after a day which moved him back to the top of Class T, relished the tussle with what he drily described as "the widest Ford he had ever seen".

Early in the race Subaru's Hennie Groenewald was snapping at Linde's exhaust when an oil fitting failed on his STI, spewing lubricant on the engine and tyres. He pitted, a fire started, but his pit crew quickly killed the flames.

Groenewald is rapidly earning a reputation for being the unluckiest man in the series, possibly closely followed by Mini driver Lee Thompson.


It was a miserable day for the driver of the other Mini, Gavin Cronje, who was also forced to pit in the first segment of the feature race, his handling still awry from a Race 2 altercation with the previous-generation Focus ST of Niyaaz Modack.

Team personnel changed the component double-quick and he was at least able to rejoin, though a few laps down, and eventually made sixth place. It was another frustrating weekend for Thompson who, despite the best efforts of his team, couldn’t get out of the pits in time for the start of the feature race, his engine having failed in the opening sprint.

The overall outcome of the day’s racing was victory for Fourie, followed by Linde, with Bonafede third for Audi. The Class T podium was gold for Nathan, well ahead of Formato and Duminy.

Click here for full results of the day’s racing.
Read more on:    welkom

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