Kyalami preview

*********************************************************** Colin Windell <> CyberRace Inc (c) 1995. All rights reserved ************************************************************ THE SPECULATION ...

*********************************************************** Colin Windell <> CyberRace Inc (c) 1995. All rights reserved ************************************************************


Audi go to the first round of the AA Fleetcare South African Super Touring series at Kyalami on March 9 in the invidious position of being both the team to beat (as far as the competition is concerned) and the team with the most to prove...or lose.

The absolute domination of the Audi A4 in Super Touring racing overseas last year culminated with World Champion Frank Biela - not unexpectedly - scoring two wins in the International event at Kyalami.

What made spectators, and other teams, sit up and take notice was that, in his very first outing in a brand new car, Chris Aberdein comfortably won both his heats.

For the 1996 season the AA Fleetcare Super Touring cars will all run on Michelin tyres and this could make a significant difference throughout the field as teams make the minute adjustments necessary to ensure optimum synergy between chassis, suspension and tyres.

"We have managed to do some testing at Kyalami already," says Andre van der Watt, manager of Audi Sport. "When Audi came out from Germany to do their 'winter' testing at Kyalami we used the occasion to give both the Rothmans Audi drivers, Chris Aberdein and Terry Moss, a chance to run their cars.

"Of course for Terry Moss it was also his first chance behind the wheel of an A4. Both drivers put in a number of laps and we did do some testing on the new Michelins, making small adjustments to the suspension settings.

"But, the real effects of the new tyres will remain 'shrouded in mystery' until the official practice sessions before the race, and I'm pretty sure all the other team managers are going be very cagey about what they reveal until then.

"We're looking forward to a tremendously competitive season and both the Rothmans Audi drivers are enormously positive about the Audi A4 and its chances against strong competition. Both are also exceptionally motivated."

Although Van der Watt is keeping 'mum' about the actual performance of the two Rothmans cars during the early testing he did say the cars remained essentially the same as the cars raced during the International at the end of last season.

"Why change a winning formula," he said.


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Series General
Drivers Frank Biela