Team Petronas Kyalami race recap

Review: Team Petronas Syntium Opel – AA Kyalami, Midrand, 5 May Team Petronas Syntium Opel left Kyalami satisfied with its performance in round three of the WesBank V8 Championship that netted both drivers a rich haul of points in both ...

Review: Team Petronas Syntium Opel – AA Kyalami, Midrand, 5 May

Team Petronas Syntium Opel left Kyalami satisfied with its performance in round three of the WesBank V8 Championship that netted both drivers a rich haul of points in both races.

In timed practice, both Deon Joubert and Shaun Watson-Smith put in impressive performances to qualify fourth and sixth on the grid.

In the first race, Joubert fought a first lap battle with Willie Hepburn (Chev Camaro) before the latter found a way past and then pulled away. Thereafter Joubert enjoyed a lonely race as he circulated alone in fifth place for the remainder of the race.

Watson-Smith had a tougher fight on his hands as Derek van Blerk (Mustang) pressured him for most of the race, threatening to overtake on occasion. However, Watson-Smith fought him off confidently to finish in sixth place.

In race two, Joubert once again had an uneventful race to finish fifth after starting from the same position. Watson-Smith started the race from eighth place and gained one position by the end of the eight laps.

"I am fairly happy with our performance," said Opel Motorsport manager Mike Carroll. "The main thing is that the cars ran reliably and we are within striking distance of where we need to ultimately be. We know where we are in terms of performance relative to the opposition, and we also have a fair idea of where the short-comings are and can move forward from here."

Joubert was equally pleased with the performance of the car. "I am very happy with the car. It is great fun to drive – much better than any other car that I have ever driven. On the technical side, I am very happy with the reliability of the Astra. We know exactly what we are now looking for in terms of performance and it is just a matter of time before we get it right," he said.

"Obviously, we have got a lot to learn on the set-up of these cars and to get the cars on the pace of the top runners," added Watson-Smith. "But considering the time we have had to get the cars ready were are satisfied that we have got a good base to work from. I am also pleased that the car is reliable and I could get experience behind the wheel.

"These cars are awesome to drive, but today was a little frustrating as the set-up was not right which made it very difficult to drive."

-Opel Motorsport

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About this article
Series General
Drivers Shaun Watson-Smith , Mike Carrol