AA Kyalami race report

Dramatic Midas Production Car Championship Lead Change At AA Kyalami The lead in the 2001 Midas Production Car Championship changed in panel-crunching fashion at AA Kyalami on Saturday (September 8). Rounds 15 and 16 of this year's biggest...

Dramatic Midas Production Car Championship Lead Change At AA Kyalami

The lead in the 2001 Midas Production Car Championship changed in panel-crunching fashion at AA Kyalami on Saturday (September 8).

Rounds 15 and 16 of this year's biggest South African circuit racing title chase left Shaun van der Linde as the overall championship leader in his Castrol BMW 328i, after snatching the placing from former title favourite Cor Kraamwinkel (Goldi Chicken Opel Kadett 140i).

The Midas tin-top brigade provided some of the Ford Centenary Raceday's most robust action.

Race One had to be red-flagged on the opening lap after a violent altication between James Menin (Goldco Midas Opel Corsa) and Riyad Jaffer (Castrol Toyota Tazz), which left their severely bent cars stranded in the Nashua Corner.

Then, four laps after the restart, the BMW 328i of Irshad Jaffer was ragged by another car going through the ultra fast Telkom Curve, spun into the inside barrier and came to rest in the middle of the track.

Following closely, Douglas Reekie (Rayban Honda Ballade 160i) and Phillip Booysen (Barnett's Honda Ballade 160i) both slammed into the stationery BMW, with Reekie's car proceeding to hit the barrier at over 160km/h.

The race was stopped again, while Kyalami's rescue team freed Reekie and Jafer from the mangled wrecks of their cars Both drivers were admitted to hospital and released after being treated for severe bruising.

The third start saw Castrol BMW 328i team mates Shaun van der Linde and Michael Briggs slot into the first and second Class A positions, which they held to the finish line.

Behind them Steve Wyndham spun his Ford Credit Fairmont out of the contention two laps from the end, leaving Kaye-Eddie BMW 328i drivers Reghardt Roets and Gavin Kelsey to take the third and fourth places.

Van der Linde delivered a carbon-copy performance with the Castrol BMW in Race Two, leading from flag to flag and setting the day's quickest lap time, to grab the current overall Midas Production Car Championship lead.

Reghardt Roets and Gavin Kelsey finished second and third with their Kaye-Eddie BMW's, leading home Michael Briggs, Steve Wyndham and Richard Sorensen (Auto Body BMW 328i).

Team Total Honda Ballade V-TEC drivers Curt Alchin and Clinton Weston dominated the opening Class B race after their nearest challenger Mario de Sousa spun his AV Toyota Corolla RSi on the penultimate lap.

That left Brian Martin (Havoline Toyota corolla RSi) to take the third place.

A determined De Sousa drove superbly in the second race, to snatch the lead on the penultimate lap and win in his Toyota, followed by the Total Hondas of Achin and Weston.

Lawrence Boshoff (Orbitt Honda Ballade 180i) won both of the Class C races, leading home Bert Grogor (Fairdeal Midas Opel Kadett 180i) and Hector North (Honda Ballade 180i) in the opening heat.

The next race saw Ian Long (Fuel Saver Honda Ballade 180i) in second place, with Grogor third in his Opel.

Class D saw Deltaparts Opel Corsa 160 GSi team mates Leeroy Poulter and Stephen Taylor fight mightily for both the race leads.

The first encounter ended when the two Opels clashed through the Ford Esses on the final lap, with Taylor's car ending in the gravel trap with a broken gearbox.

That left Dawie de Villiers (Diahatsu Sirion) in the second place, ahead of Fanie de Bruin (Makita Ford Fiesta RSi) and Phillip Kekana (Sasol Toyota Tazz).

A furious Taylor scythed his Corsa 160 GSi through the field from the back in the second race to win from Poulter's similar car, with Fanie de Bruin in a close third place with his Fiesta RSi.

Midas Production Car newcomer Carlos Nobre won both of the Class E races with his VW Golf Chico, ahead of regular front runner Dave Compton's Toyota Tazz.

Third on both occassions, losing his overall title lead in the process, was Cor Kraamwinkel in his Goldi Chicken Opel Kadett 140i.

Spectacular retirements in the class included Craig Nicholson (Ferodo Toyota Tazz) and Jesse Adams (VW Golf Chico) who both rolled their cars in the closing stages of the the opening race.

The next round of the 2001 Midas Production Car Championship will take place at the Western Cape Killarney circuit on Saturday, October 6.

-MPCC-

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Series General
Drivers Leeroy Poulter