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Clean sweep for Ford and Formato in PE

2014-05-05 11:09

FLYING FORMATO: Gary Formato took his Ford Focus ST to two wins and two fastest laps during the Alto Scribante Production Car races in Port Elizabeth on May 2 2014. Image: PAUL BEDFORD

PORT ELIZABETH, Eastern Cape - Gary Formato (Focus ST) took all the Class T Bridgestone Production Car championship points at the Aldo Scribante race track in Port Elizabeth on Saturday (May 3 2014) by winning both races and setting the fastest lap in each.

In Class A the wins and fastest-lap bonus points were shared by Michael Stephen (Audi S4) and Johan Fourie (BMW 335i).

In the nine-lap sprint Stephen had team mate Simon Moss alongside him on the front row and they were never challenged on their way to a 1-. The real action was behind them: Gavin Cronje (BMW 335i) led the Audi S4's of Hennie Groenewald and Gennaro Bonafede and his team mate Johan Fourie.


The four thrilled the crowd with very close competition, often running two or three abreast, but it had to end... contact between Groenewald and Cronje through the last curve of the race allowed Bonafede through to take third. Fourie out-dragged a recovering Cronje to the line to take fourth; Groenewald had to settle for sixth.

Formato was never challenged on his way to the Class T win. Michael van Rooyen (Chevrolet Cruze) was heading for second until he found oil Cronje’s car had dropped at the final curve. His subsequent off-track excursion allowed Shaun Duminy (Focus ST) through to cross the line second.

Duminy’s joy at his good fortune was short-lived: the post-race check found his car had exceeded the maximum boost level. This promoted Graeme Nathan (Golf GTi) to second and Lee Thompson (Mini) to third.

Ryan Rhode (Mini) also found the oil but recovered to finish fifth behind Van Rooyen. Charl Smalberger (Golf GTi) had an uneventful race to sixth.


In the feature race the drivers lined up in reverse championship order. That gave Moss pole with Cronje alongside. Moss out-braked himself going into the first turn and dropped to the back of the field, handing the lead to Cronje. He had team mate Fourie behind him with the Audis chasing hard.

Fourie took the lead approaching one-third distance and opened up a big gap while Cronje kept the Audis at bay.

Stephen muscled his way past Cronje with Moss following as they approached halfway and contact between Cronje and Moss put the former out of the race and dropped Moss to fourth behind Bonafede. Stephen did his best to close the gap to Fourie but ran out of laps, eventually crossing the line, eight-tenths behind the BMW.

Bonafede completed the podium.

Moss crossed the line fourth in his battered Audi but was later excluded, also for a boost pressure infringement. Groenewald’s race ended early when mechanical gremlins sidelined his Audi; Formato made it a double for the day with another comfortable Class T win, this time ahead of rookie Rhode (Mini).


Behind the leading duo there was a three-way battle for third for much of the race. Nathan, Van Rooyen and Thompson fought until gearbox problems slowed Thompson and he dropped back down the field.

Nathan and Van Rooyen crossed the line less than a half-second apart but Van Rooyen was later excluded - another boost pressure infringement.

Smalberger was eventually credited with fourth after Duminy was also excluded for exceeding - boost, yet again.

Championship points
Class A
1 Michael Stephen -  81
2 Johan Fourie - 68
3 Gennaro Bonafede - 62

Class T
1 Graeme Nathan - 72
2 Gary Formato - 55
3 Michael van Rooyen - 50
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