2000 BANKFIN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDS 5 AND 6, PHAKISA FREEWAY, WELKOM RACE DAY, 4/29/00 Colin Windell The long eight-week break since the last outing appeared to work for several teams with BMW grabbing its first pole position of the...
2000 BANKFIN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDS 5 AND 6, PHAKISA FREEWAY, WELKOM RACE DAY, 4/29/00
The long eight-week break since the last outing appeared to work for several teams with BMW grabbing its first pole position of the season at Phakisa Freeway at the weekend. Although this was not translated into a race win it was the 'old man' of Touring Cars, Terry Moss (Engen Audi A4) who won round five of the Bankfin series. The 42-year-old 1996 touring car champion had not won since 1997. He started from fourth on the grid and was the only driver among the top four to complete the race. Poleman Shaun van der Linde (BMW 318i) led for the first two laps until he went out with a suspected seized differential. Anthony Taylor, who had started from third on the grid, took over the lead from Audi team-mate Moss and the BP Nissan Dealer Team Primeras of Duncan Vos, Giniel de Villiers and Mark Peters. Vos, went out at the end of lap four with a broken fuel pressure regulator while the two works Audis, racing for the first time with new 16-valve 2,0-litre engines specially developed by Audi/VW in Germany for racing, started to pull away from the rest of the record 20-car field. On lap seven Taylor, with Moss camped on his rear bumper in the corners, suddenly slowed as a CV joint broke. Moss needed no further invitation and went on to record an historic first ever win for the new Audi engine with Mark Peters in the Nissan Primera happy to take second place. Third went to Shaun Watson-Smith (Petronas Opel Vectra), who also recorded the fastest lap of the race and established the first touring car lap record on the BTCC's first race on the long, 4,2 km version of Phakisa Freeway. Reigning champion Giniel De Villiers, winner of three of the first four rounds of this year's BTCC, finished fourth, 6,26 sec behind Moss. He was carrying 50 kg of penalty weight as a result of his win in round four in Port Elizabeth. However, he reasserted his authority on the championship and won the next race, making it four out of six, from works Nissan team-mate Peters, who took his second runner-up spot of the day. Watson-Smith made it back-to-back thirds for the day in the works Opel. The reigning champion passed polesitter Van der Linde (BMW) in the second corner of the first lap and was unchallenged throughout the 12-lap race. He recorded the fastest lap of the race, just one thousandth of a second slower than Watson-Smith's round five lap record.
Peters took second place from Van der Linde on lap two and opened up a gap on a four-way battle for third between the BMW driver, Watson-Smith, Moss (Audi) and Dos Santos (BMW). Van der Linde seemed to be holding up the others and Watson-Smith went ahead on lap seven.