Close championship battles pep up Vodacom Power Tour Meeting. Some desperately close championship battles will pep up the Vodacom Power Tour national meeting at AA Kyalami on August 3. A string of interesting battles have developed over the ...
Close championship battles pep up Vodacom Power Tour Meeting.
Some desperately close championship battles will pep up the Vodacom Power Tour national meeting at AA Kyalami on August 3.
A string of interesting battles have developed over the course of the season, and the AA Kyalami outing could make or break a few championship challenges. In some cases only a point covers the major challengers, and in others there are only a handful of points covering three or four would be champions.
Five national championship categories-- South African Production Cars, the Wesbank SAMCAR Series, Vodacom Sports Prototypes, Formula Ford and Superbikes-- will be in action. Also on the programme will be the Vodacom Sports 2000 development category-- a national challenge class-- providing a good mix of saloon cars, sports cars, singleseaters and bikes.
The closest title scrap is in the Wesbank SAMCAR Series where Roelf du Plessis (Chev Camaro) leads Ben Morgenrood (Auto Trader Ford Mustang) by a single point. Only 20 points separate du Plessis from Johan Fourie (Sasol Opel Astra) in fourth place, with Larry Wilford (Fuchs Ford Mustang) in third place.
Fourie has been earmarked by reigning champion Sarel van der Merwe, who now runs the Sasol team, to win the championship. The talented Capetonian has dominated the last four races with Supervan, now over an inner ear infection that has kept him on the sidelines, likely to take over from Shaun Watson-Smith in a second Opel Astra at AA Kyalami.
The Superbike championship is also delicately poised. Only six points separate Trevor Crookes (UUNET Ducati), multiple champion Russell Wood (Vodacom Nashua Yamaha) and Stewart Macleod (Cell C Suzuki), with reigning champion Greg Dreyer a further 10 points off the pace on a second Cell C Suzuki.
The Superbike brigade never fails to provide for hugely entertaining racing. The championship position, however, ensures that the competition will be more intense than ever.
Former Touring Car champion Shaun van der Linde (Castrol van der Linde Racing BMW) has a tight hold on the South African Production Car Championship, but behind him there are some tight scraps-- as is the case in the class championships. While van der Linde is nearly 30 points clear of his closest challenger in the overall standings, the position is much tighter in the Junior Drivers championship where Philip Kekana (Sasol Toyota Tazz) has only a three-point cushion over VW Golf driver Darren Murphy.
The prestige SA Manufacturers championship is also wide open with Honda under pressure from Toyota. Honda dominate Class C and Toyota Class B with only 12 points between them.
Veteran Bernard Tilanus-- nearly 30 years after winning the Formula Ford title-- leads the Vodacom Sports Prototype standings." Fast Fanus" will be looking to extend a 33 point lead over the consistent Neil Lobb, while on the Formula Ford front Morne Jurgens (Jurgens Truck Mygale) has seen his championship lead cut to a mere 12 points.
The action starts at AA Kyalami at 07h45 on Friday, August 2 with official practice for all categories and official qualifying for all categories with the exception of the Superbikes. The Superbikes will qualify on race day, with the first race scheduled for 10h00.
Gate entry at AA Kyalami is R35 per adult with children under 12 free. Booking is at Computicket outlets.
Current points positions:
Wesbank SAMCAR Series: 1 R du Plessis 151; 2 B Morgenrood 150; 3 L Wilford 144; 4 J Fourie 131; 5 W Hepburn 121.
SA Production Cars-- Overall: 1 S van der Linde 90; 2 C Wilken 71; 3 I Long 60; 4 L Boshoff 59; 5 M Steyn 58.
SA Production Cars-- Junior Drivers: 1 P Kekana 50; 2 D Murphy 47; 3 D Compton 45; 4 H Moore 36; 5 E du Toit 36.
SA Manufacturers Championship: 1 Honda 87; 2 Toyota 75; 3 BMW 60; 4 Volkswagen 34; 5 Ford 15.
Class A: 1 S van der Linde 90; 2 M Briggs 53; 3 E van der Linde 29.
Class B: 1 C Wilken 71; 2 M Steyn 58; 3 M Cronje 55.
Class C: 1 I Long 60; 2 L Boshoff 59; 3 C Alchin 52.
Class D: 1 P Kekana 50; 2 E du Toit 36; 3 F de Bruin 35.
Class E: 1 D Murphy 47; 2 D Compton 45; 3 J Powell 45.
Formula Ford: 1 M Jurgens 72; 2 B Mayberry 60; 3 M du Toit 30; 4 S Morris 21; 5 G Cronje 20.
Vodacom Sports Prototype: 1 B Tilanus 194; 2 N Lobb 161; 3 D Roscoe 158; 4 G Ferreira 152; 5 F Gerber 136.
Superbikes: 1 T Crookes 141; 2 R Wood 137; 3 S Macleod 135; 4 G Dreyer 125; 5 N Haarhoff 119.