Kyalami race report

2000 BANKFIN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDS 15 AND 16, AA KYALAMI, MIDRAND SATURDAY, 23rd SEPTEMBER, 2000 By Colin Windell Giniel de Villiers virtually wrapped up his fourth successive Bankfin Touring Car title at AA Kyalami on Saturday...

2000 BANKFIN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUNDS 15 AND 16, AA KYALAMI, MIDRAND
SATURDAY, 23rd SEPTEMBER, 2000

By Colin Windell

Giniel de Villiers virtually wrapped up his fourth successive Bankfin Touring Car title at AA Kyalami on Saturday taking his BP Nissan Primera to a third place in the first race and a win in the second to move to 59 points ahead of Opel's Shaun Watson-Smith.

Deon Joubert dominated the opening race in his Petronas Syntium Opel Vectra, leading from pole position and recording the fastest lap of the race until he moved over within sight of the finish line to allow team-mate Shaun Watson-Smith to take his fourth win of the year. The tactical move allowed Watson-Smith to take five precious points out of championship leader Giniel de Villiers' healthy lead.

It was Opel's second 1-2 this season following Joubert's win ahead of Watson-Smith in round seven at AA Kyalami in May, and takes the PE team's total victories this season to five compared to Nissan's eight.

De Villiers' BP Nissan Dealer Team Primera shadowed Joubert's Opel from second place on the grid for the first half of the race with Watson-Smith another second back until the reigning champion made a mistake under braking for the Vodacom Bowl on lap seven. His brakes locked and he slid in cement dust and dirt on the edge of the track, allowing Watson-Smith to nip through.

He stayed with Watson-Smith to the chequered flag but had to settle for third, 0,8 sec behind the winner and 0,6 sec behind Joubert.

Shaun van der Linde was fourth in the works BMW 318i, some six seconds behind De Villiers, after a hard-fought battle with fifth-placed Silvio Scribante in the third works Opel. Scribante, in only his third touring car race this year, held Van der Linde at bay for eight laps until the 1994 champion passed him under braking for Goodyear Corner on lap nine and went on to finish 1,8 sec ahead.

Anthony Taylor was sixth in the first of the Engen Audi A4s, ahead of Mark Peters' works Nissan Primera and Terry Moss in the second Audi. Peters did well to recover from a first lap clash with Marco dos Santos in the second works BMW, which saw Dos Santos retire with heavy frontal damage after he ran into Peters while attempting to overtake the Nissan in Goodyear Corner. Duncan Vos, in the third works Nissan, retired on lap three with gearbox problems.

De Villiers (Nissan Primera) held off a strong challenge from Watson-Smith (Opel Vectra) in the last four laps of the second race to score his ninth win of the year - with a maximum of 68 points available from the last four races, all De Villiers has to do is score 10 more points to put the issue beyond doubt.

Pole winner Van der Linde (BMW) was passed by first De Villiers and then Watson-Smith before the end of the second lap. He didn't even complete the second lap, retiring with a broken steering arm after he and Joubert (Opel) made contact at the top of the Caltex Mineshaft.

Joubert was able to continue and finished third, just 0,1 sec behind his teammate. Watson-Smith camped on De Villiers rear bumper from lap nine until he tried an ambitious passing manoeuvre going into the Kink and went wide, running on to the dirt and cutting the corner. At the finish he was 2,3 sec behind the winner. He was clearly the quickest driver on the day, taking the fastest lap of the race, and has now moved into third place in the championship, 33 points behind his teammate and 13 ahead of Vos.

Vos was fourth in his Nissan Primera ahead of Taylor (Audi) and Scribante (Opel). Jonathan du Toit completed a very impressive first Bankfin Touring Car outing by finishing seventh, ahead of Moss (Audi). The 19-year-old was lying ninth in the first race when he was forced to retire with a broken sideshaft.

Dos Santos (BMW) and Peters (Nissan) again clashed, this time in the Vodacom Bowl, with Peters spinning off the circuit. As he rejoined Da Cunha in the Procar Nissan Primera hit him. He pitted for repairs to his Nissan's bodywork and rejoined the race to finish 16th and well out of the points. Dos Santos was ninth.

<pre> SOUTH AFRICAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP, ROUNDS 15 & 16, AA KYALAMI (ZA), 2 x 12 LAPS, 102,4 km, SEP 23, Race 1 1 Shaun Watson-Smith (Opel Vectra) 23m 13,02s; 2 Deon Joubert (Opel Vectra) 23m 13,22s; 3 Giniel de Villiers (Nissan Primera) 23m 13,83s; 4 Shaun van der Linde (BMW 318i) 23m 20,28s; 5 Silvio Scribante (Opel Vectra) 23m 22,07s; 6 Anthony Taylor (Audi A4) 23m 22,82s; 7 Mark Peters (Nissan Primera) 23m 23,94s; 8 Terry Moss (Audi A4) 23m 29,80s; 9 Marco da Cunha (Nissan Primera) 24m 41, 48s; 10 Richard Sorensen (BMW 320i) 24m 49,78s. Fastest lap: Joubert, 1 min 54,81 sec.

Race 2 1 Giniel De Villiers (Nissan) 23m 10,50s; 2 Shaun Watson-Smith (Opel) 23m 12,82s; 3 Deon Joubert (Opel) 23m 12,97s; 4 Duncan Vos (Nissan) 23m 15,75s; 5 Anthony Taylor (Audi) 23m 22,69s; 6 Silvio Scribante (Opel) 23m 28,98s; 7 Jonathan Du Toit (Nissan) 23m 34,25s; 8 Terry Moss (Audi) 23m 34,67s; 9 Marco Dos Santos (BMW) 23m 39,25s; 10 Marco Da Cunha (Nissan) 24m 41,77s.

CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after 16 rounds of 20) Drivers 1 Giniel de Villiers (Nissan Primera) 214; 2 Shaun Watson-Smith (Opel Vectra) 155; 3 Deon Joubert (Opel Vectra) 109; 4 Duncan Vos (Nissan Primera) 109; 5 Mark Peters (Nissan Primera) 102; 6 Anthony Taylor (Audi A4) 97; 7 Shaun van der Linde (BMW 318i) 82; 8 Terry Moss (Audi A4) 75; 9 Marco dos Santos (BMW 318i) 40; 10 Marco da Cunha (Nissan Primera) 23; 11 Neil Stephen (Audi A4) 20; 12 Silvio Scribante (Opel Vectra) 19; 13 Gary Formato (Nissan Primera) 18; 14 George Bezuidenhout (Nissan Primera) 16; 15 Colin Hastie (Nissan Primera) 14; 16 Richard Sorensen (BMW 320i) 8; 17 Jonathan du Toit (Nissan Primera) 4; 18 Brian Martin (Toyota Corolla) and Irshad Jaffer (Nissan Primera) 3; 20 AJ Taylor (Nissan Sentra) 2.

Manufacturers 1 Nissan 478; 2 Opel 271; 3 Audi 183; 4 BMW 120; 5 Toyota 3.

Procar Challenge 1 Marco da Cunha (Nissan Primera) 211; 2 George Bezuidenhout (Nissan Primera) 206; 3 Richard Sorensen (BMW 320i) 87; 4 Irshad Jaffer (Nissan Primera) 77; 5 Colin Hastie (Nissan Primera) 75; 6 Brian Martin (Toyota Corolla) 71; 7 AJ Taylor (Nissan Sentra) 65. Ends

Colin Windell colin@autonews.co.za

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Series General
Drivers Gary Formato , Giniel de Villiers , Shaun Watson-Smith , Duncan Vos