Kyalami production car race report

2001 Midas Production Car Championship Takes Dramatic Turns At AA Kyalami This year's South African Midas Production Car Championship saw a number of upsets at AA Kyalami on Saturday (May 5) during Rounds 5 and 6 of the title chase. A series...

2001 Midas Production Car Championship Takes Dramatic Turns At AA Kyalami

This year's South African Midas Production Car Championship saw a number of upsets at AA Kyalami on Saturday (May 5) during Rounds 5 and 6 of the title chase.

A series of dramatic incidents saw the point leads for the season's overall Production Car Championship, and that in three of the contested classes change hands.

In Class A, semi-works Castrol BMW 328i driver Shaun van der Linde took the title lead via two faultless race victories, accompanied by the quickest class lap time on each occasion. In the opening race he was chased to the flag by a furiously-dicing Gavin Kelsey (Kaye-Eddie BMW 328i) and Michael Briggs (Castrol BMW 328i), with Steve Wyndham taking the fourth place in his Ford Credit Fairmont.

Previous overall and Class A Championship leader Reghardt Roets battled with 80 kg of handicap mass in his Kaye-Eddie BMW 328i, and had to settle for fifth, narrowly ahead of Richard Sorensen's similar car.

The second race was disrupted by a bizarre occurrence. An electronic fault caused the red hazard lights down Kyalami's Mineshaft straight to light up on Lap Four, indicating an official race stoppage. The lights were activated behind Shaun van der Linde, Michael Briggs and Steve Wyndham and they raced on, while the rest of the 41-car field slowed in confusion.

That left Van der Linde, Briggs and Wyndham to take the first three placings, a long way ahead of Kaye-Eddie BMW drivers Kelsey and Roets.

The Class B results were disrupted before the start of the opening race. Following a dispute about the mandatory use of control brake pads, Toyota Motorsport withdrew the Castrol Corolla RSi cars of Charl Wilken and Mark Cronje from the event.

That left Team Total Honda Ballade V-TEC racers Gavin Cronje' and Clinton Weston to take the first two placings. They were chased to the flag by privateer Mario da Sousa in his Imperial Toyota Corolla RSi, Curt Alchin (Team Total Honda Ballade V-TEC) and Brian Luyt in his Opel Astra 200iE.

The five drivers filled exactly the same places in the second race, but a startline infringement saw Gavin Cronje' docked by 30 seconds, dropping him to sixth place. The Team Total Honda driver still emerged as the new Class B Championship points leader.

The first Class C race was won by Douglas Reekie (Ray-Ban Honda Ballade 180i) ahead of Vaughn Williams (Mobil Honda Ballade), Bert Grogor (Opel Kadett 180i) and Hector North (Honda Ballade). In the second event Reekie and Williams, confused by the red hazard lights, slowed, which dropped them to third and fourth places, behind North and Grogor.

Things were a lot more straightforward in Class D, where Stephen Taylor (Deltaparts Opel Corsa 160 GSi ) scored both race wins ahead of team mate Leeroy Poulter's identical car. Taylor became the overall 2001 Midas Production Car Championship points leader in the process.

The opening race saw Phillip Kekana drive his Sasol Toyota Tazz 160iRS to a remarkable third place, leading home Ford Fiesta RSi twins Fanie de Bruin and Etienne du Toit. The red-light confusion in Race Two saw Kekana bumped off the circuit, which left the Fiestas of Du Toit and De Bruin in the third and fourth places.

Dave Compton (Toyota Tazz) won the first Class E race ahead of Cor Kraamwinkel (Goldi Chicken Opel Kadett 140iS) and James Menin (Midas Gold Opel Corsa). Kraamwinkel triumphed over Menin and Compton in Race Two, taking the class points lead en route. Compton was given the CAR Magazine Rookie of the Day award, with youngster Riyadh Jaffer (Castrol Toyota Tazz) named as the CAR Trier of the Day.

-MPCC-

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Series General
Drivers Gavin Cronje , Leeroy Poulter
Teams Williams