South Africa's Toughest Circuit Title Fight Goes To AA Kyalami This year's Midas Production Car Championship will go to AA Kyalami next Saturday (July 21) as South Africa's most toughly-contested national circuit title chase. Following nine of...
South Africa's Toughest Circuit Title Fight Goes To AA Kyalami
This year's Midas Production Car Championship will go to AA Kyalami next Saturday (July 21) as South Africa's most toughly-contested national circuit title chase.
Following nine of the season's 21 races, the overall 2001 Midas Production Car Championship is very much in dispute.
Six drivers from four different classes could emerge as the season points leader following the two AA Kyalami races. Currently topping the ladder on 62 points is Class E privateer Cor Kraamwinkel in his Goldi Chicken Opel Kadett 140i. His closest challenger, boasting 51 points, is Shaun van der Linde, literally at the very other end of the Midas Production Car scale in his Class A Castrol BMW 328i. Stephen Taylor (Class D Deltaparts Opel Corsa 160 GSi), lies third on 46 points, with Class B contenders Curt Alchin (Team Total Honda Ballade V-TEC) and Charl Wilken (Castrol Toyota Corolla RSi) locked in fourth place with 45 points each. The sixth place belongs to Leeroy Poulter (Class D Deltaparts Opel Corsa 160 GSi) on 44 points.
With each of the above drivers able to score a maximum of 20 points at AA Kyalami, none of them can afford to be beaten in their respective classes. The title fights in the formula's five separate classes are running equally close.
In Class A, Van der Linde's 51-point score does not guarantee immunity - and neither do the shotgun-riding abilities of his Castrol BMW 428i team mate Etienne van der Linde. They could both be beaten by Kaye-Eddie BMW 328i drivers Reghardt Roets and Gavin Kelsey, trying to better their respective 26- and 20-point title scores.
Others in the class who could take AA Kyalami podium places will be Steve Wyndham (Ford Credit Fairmont), Peter Lanz (Nissan Maxima QX) plus BMW 328I drivers Richard Sorensen and Chad Wentzel. With Toyota's Charl Wilken and Honda's Curt Alchin tied on 45 points in the lead of Class B, their AA Kyalami fight will be a desperate one. Alchin will enjoy the support of Total Honda Ballade V-TEC team mates Gavin Cronje' and Clint Weston, while Wilken can rely on the assistance of Mark Cronje in the second works Castrol Toyota Corolla RSi.
Privateers in the class who could upset the applecart will include Mario da Sousa (AV Toyota Corolla RSi) and Dave Kopke in a similar, Castrol-backed car. Bert Grogor (Opel Kadett 180i) currently leads Class C on 40 points, chased by Phillip Booysen, on 36 points in his Maxiflex Honda Ballade 180i. They will resume their season-long rivalry at AA Kyalami, with Doug Reekie (Ray-Ban Honda) plus Hector North and Lee Phillips in similar cars, able to provide surprises.
In Class D, Deltaparts Opel Corsa 160 GSi twins Stephen Taylor (46 points) and Leeroy Poulter (44 points) will come under attack from Phillip Kekana, who won the last two races to obtain 36 points in his Sasol Toyota Tazz 160iRS. Able to beat them all at Kyalami will be Ford Fiesta RSi drivers Etienne du Toit and Fanie de Bruin, with Ian Long (Honda Ballade 160i), Nyameka Williams (Petronas Opel Corsa 160 GSi) and Dawie de Villiers (Daihatsu Sirion) not far off the pace.
Finally, Cor Kraamwinkel's 62 points in Class E could be overhauled by James Menin (Opel Corsa 130i - 42 points) and Dave Compton, with 27 points in his Toyota Tazz. Others to watch in the class will be impressive newcomer Sheehan Grant (Opel Kadett 140iS), Riyad Jaffer (Castrol Toyota Tazz), Craig Nicholson (Ferodo Toyota Tazz) and Nico de Waal (Opel Corsa 140i).