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2013-12-13 09:34

MATTHEW SWANEPOEL: The South African who won the 2013 Asia Cup championship.

DURBAN - KZN teen Matthew Swanepoel flew to Malaysia a week ago having just finished his school career and with only one thing in mind – the 2013 Formula BMW Asia Cup championship.

He started the season with a first-round retirement and had to play catch-up to fellow South African Shayur Harpal, who took the first race win of the season and remained in the lead going into the last week of the championship.

This past week - Super Six week - has been a true test of mental and physical ability... sis races in five days, including practice and qualifying. A real test of one’s mettle.

SET FOR A SHOWDOWN

Swanepoel set his strategy: one race at a time, despite torrential rain for some of the events.

The first three producing a podium finishes that set him up for a showdown with another South African – 2012 Champion Aston Hare who was on pace and taking wins.

Swanepoel dug deep for the next three races... Race 4: win. Race 5: win. They put him into the championship lead and it was all down to the final race.

He was running in a strong top three when contact was made and his car spun off but he rejoined in 11th. By the flag he was back up to seventh - was that good enough?

Once the dust had settled, the maths done, Matthew Swanepoel was the 2013 Formula BMW Asia Cup champion.

He said later: “I still can’t believe it. I thought for sure seventh in the last race was not enough.  I never factored where the others finished.

"It’s a fantastic feeling. I've learned so much this season after starting on the back foot. The top step - what an awesome feeling!”

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