AA Kyalami race report 2002-05-18

Vodacom Power Tour-- AA Kyalami-- May 18, 2002 Superbike pair steal the thunder. A reigning champion and a multiple former champion stole most of the thunder at the Vodacom Power Tour national championship meeting at AA Kyalami on Saturday 18...

Vodacom Power Tour-- AA Kyalami-- May 18, 2002

Superbike pair steal the thunder.

A reigning champion and a multiple former champion stole most of the thunder at the Vodacom Power Tour national championship meeting at AA Kyalami on Saturday 18 May.

Reigning champion Greg Dreyer, on the Cell C Suzuki, and archrival Russell Wood (Vodacom Nashua Yamaha), 12 times a South African motorcycle champion, fought a superb duel in race two of the SA Superbike event. Another former champion, Trevor Crookes, on the UUNET Ducati, also played a role in a blockbuster race that kept the near 15 000 crowd enthralled.

After Dreyer had romped away with the first heat ahead of Wood and Graeme van Breda on the Merces Cura Suzuki, the second race developed into a war of attrition. Most of the drama was packed into the final lap when Wood made a mistake coming out of Wesbank Corner and Dreyer nipped into the lead.

In a do or die move Wood muscled his way back into the lead under braking for the Vodacom Bowl hairpin, and then had to resist desperate attempts by Dreyer to pull something out of the fire at the final two corners. A rich haul of points moved Dreyer into the championship lead, with Crookes dropping back and Wood right back in contention after a season that has seen him mix wins with two crashes.

The other hero of the day was former Opel works driver Shaun Watson-Smith. Deputising for team owner Sarel van der Merwe who has an inner ear infection, Watson-Smith cruised to a pair of Wesbank V8 Championship wins in the Sasol Opel Astra.

It was the Sasol backed team's first wins of the year, with Watson-Smith dominating both races from start to finish. In both races the Port Elizabeth driver came in ahead of Johan Fourie in the MD Transport Opel Astra, and veteran former champion Ben Morgenrood in the Auto Trader Ford Mustang..

There was also a double for another former works driver, Shaun van der Linde, who won the 1994 Touring Car championship with BMW. Two wins in the Castrol Van Der Linde Racing BMW saw van der Linde tighten his hold on the overall South African Production Car drivers championship.

In race one van der Linde held off younger brother Etienne, and in the second came in ahead of Regardt Roets and Hennie Groenewald in Kaye-Eddie Estates BMWs. This time around the younger van der Linde was involved in some argy bargy with Roets that dropped him down to fifth behind Mike Briggs (Castrol Van Der Linde Racing BMW and Richard Sorensen in the Compaq BMW.

Other doubles went to Martin Steyn (Honda Ballade) in Class B and Ian Long (Honda Ballade) in Class C. Veteran Soweto driver Philip Kekana (Sasol Toyota Tazz) and Dawie de Villiers (Daihatsu) shared the Class D spoils with Hans Moore (VW Golf) and Dave Compton (Toyota Tazz) each taking a win in Class E.

Reigning champion Graham Nathan celebrated national championship status during the week for the Engen VW Cup by romping away with the first heat from Eastern Cape star

Tschops Sipuka. A huge multiple accident on the opening lap of race two brought out the red flag to stop the race, and after the restart it was Sipuka's turn to romp away from the rest of the field.

Reigning champion George Ferreira and veteran Bernard Tilanus shared the wins in the Vodacom Sports Prototype event, with Morne Edas winning both heats of the Vodacom Sports 2000 event. Tilanus won the SA Formula Ford title in 1974 and the SA Drivers Championship in 1981.

Championship leader Morne Jurgens (Truck Den Mygale) also got his name among the double winners. He took both heats in two good Sasol Formula Ford events with stiff competition both times from Brett Mayberry (Mygale) and Mark du Toit in the Big Z Van Diemen.

-vp/aaracing-

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About this article
Series General
Drivers Martin Steyn , Sarel van der Merwe , Hennie Groenewald
Tags AFVR