THE FINAL COUNTDOWN With just two races left in the 1996 AA Fleetcare Super Touring series, the final countdown to the race meeting at Killarney, Cape Town on September 7 is involving the Rothmans Audi in a lot of meticulous preparation and...
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
With just two races left in the 1996 AA Fleetcare Super Touring series, the final countdown to the race meeting at Killarney, Cape Town on September 7 is involving the Rothmans Audi in a lot of meticulous preparation and planning.
The two Rothmans Audi A4 super tourers were in Cape Town last week for a test session with both drivers - championship log leader Terry Moss and Chris Aberdein - putting in a number of laps.
According to Audi Sport manager Andre van der Watt the Rothmans Audi team experimented with a number of setup changes on the two cars.
"It's difficult to make any comparisons to our previous visits to the circuit since track conditions vary so much with the changes in the weather conditions," he said. "On each day of testing we set a base time and then compared each setup revise with that. At the same time we used the opportunity to extensively test the various tyre compound options against the changes.
"Almost all the testing we did was to try and minimise the weight factor to give our two drivers the best possible combination of speed, handling and tyre life."
Van der Watt added the qualifying sessions would be vital to the team's chances and that pole position was absoloutely imperative.
"The Killarney circuit has not had a happy record with touring car races this year and the spectre of a start line incident remains ever present. We sincerely hope the full field of cars will get away cleanly in both heats, but we simply cannot ignore the carnage of previous race meetings.
"Although it is no guarantee, having pole position and - hopefully - second quickest on the grid at least gives our drivers a chance to get away from any bumping and banging under the bridge," he says.
"We are obviously highly motivated to win the championship and will do everything we possibly can to ensure success for our drivers, but we are also hoping to achieve this by racing the other manufacturers rather than having them knocked out by any incidents at the start.
"The spectators coming to Killarney are also very aware of the wide open nature of the series and will be looking forward to two heats of top class serious racing - the Rothmans Audi team is planning to give them just that.
1. Terry Moss (Audi A4), 81 2. Chris Aberdein (Audi A4), 72 3. Shaun van der Linde (BMW 318i), 71 4. Grant McCleery (Opel Vectra), 54 5. Julian Bailey (Toyota Camry), 36 6. Deon Joubert (BMW 318i), 30