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2018-05-14 08:51

Image: David Ledbitter

Pretoria – Gennaro Bonafede clinched two podium results for the Sasol GTC Racing Team to maintain his second place ranking in the overall championship standings after round three of the Sasol GTC Championship.

Robert Wolk put in a strong qualifying performance in his BMW GTC racing car, but was involved in some robust racing by his rivals which hampered his race position in both heats.

Bonafede, Wolk end strong

Friday’s free practice sessions saw Bonafede top the time sheets around the 2.4km Zwartkops Raceway with Wolk in a strong fourth place.

READ: Sasol GTC races deliver entertaining motorsport at Killarney

The official qualifying session on Saturday morning saw a Sasol GTC racing team positioned three-four on the grid with Bonafede 0.24 seconds off pole position and Wolk 0.12 seconds behind his team-mate.

                                                                         Image: David Ledbitter

The top three qualifiers raced away from the rest of the field in the first race. Michael Stephen and Simon Moss (Audi GTCs) were shadowed by Bonafede, with the gap widening and closing as the race unfolded throughout the twelve lapper.

Determined driving

The #41 Sasol BMW GTC racing car suffered cosmetic and wheel alignment damage, but Wolk nevertheless adapted his driving style to suit his circumstances and regained fourth spot after Hodges retired.

In the second race, Wolk lined up in fourth place again with Bonafede in fifth place. Wolk made a great start and slotted into third place, but was bumped by Moss and Bonafede as they raced through turn four which dropped him to sixth place. He fought back and re-passed Van Rooyen, ending in fifth position.

 

                                                                            Image: David Ledbitter

Bonafede was a man on the move from his fifth place grid position. A great start saw him quickly up into third and chasing Van Rooyen and Daniel Rowe (VW Jetta GTC).

He made “a strong pass” on van Rooyen into turn eight to snatch second place. He set his sights on the race leader who was some four seconds up the road.  Although Bonafede closed the gap to Rowe, his progress was impeded by traffic and he ran out of laps.

“Race two was hectic”, beamed Bonafede after the race. “I had to force a way through the traffic and went between two Golfs who battled it out amongst themselves! I made a small mistake on two of my qualifying laps which cost me a tenth of a second or two.

'It was pretty rough out there'

I could have gone quicker but never hooked up a perfect lap. Race one was relatively straight-forward. Overall it was a decent weekend”.

“It was pretty rough out there for me." “I was hit in both races which compromised my results. Van Rooyen hit me in the first race and I lost position as a result, while Moss and Gennaro pushed me wide in the second race, Wolk related.

                                                                          Image: David Ledbitter

In qualifying, I ran a bit wide which cost me a tenth of a second but I was close enough to Gennaro to be in the mix”.

Team Manager Vic Maharaj added: “It was a good day for the team; Gennaro was quick all weekend and maintains his overall championship position. He was quickest in the final free practice session so we knew we had a good package.

Robert was a bit unlucky but brought home a good haul of points. Both our cars and the racing made for great day in the office”.

The Sasol GTC Racing Team’s next challenge is the iconic East London Grand Prix Circuit in the Eastern Cape on 16th June.

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