The Midas Production Car travelling circus will perform at the East London Grand Prix circuit next Saturday (June 23) with its 2001 South African Championship poised on a knife-edge. The occasions will be Rounds 9 and 10 of the country's biggest...
The Midas Production Car travelling circus will perform at the East London Grand Prix circuit next Saturday (June 23) with its 2001 South African Championship poised on a knife-edge.
The occasions will be Rounds 9 and 10 of the country's biggest national circuit racing title chase, with more than 50 near-standard passenger cars on the starting grid.
Going to East London, three drivers from separate classes are covered by two points at the top of the year's overall Midas Production Car Championship. Meanwhile, a total of seven drivers could emerge from the Eastern Cape races as the season's new overall title leader.
The three top drivers, respectively on 58, 57 and 56 points, are Shaun van der Linde (Class A BMW 328i), Cor Kraamwinkel (Class E Opel Kadett 140iS) and Stephen Taylor (Class D Opel Corsa 160 GSi). None of the three can afford to be beaten in the Eastern Cape, shooting at full point scores of 20 each over the day' two races.
In Class A Van der Linde and his Castrol BMW 328i team mate Michael Briggs will face tough opposition from current category champion Reghardt Roets in his Kaye-Eddie BMW 328i. The fight between the three drivers became decidedly robust at the season's previous races in May, and the trend could continue at the ultra-fast East London circuit.
Also fully in the equation should be Gavin Kelsey (Kaye-Eddie BMW 328i), Steve Wyndham (Ford Credit Fairmont), Peter Lanz (Nissan Maxima QX), Michele Lupini (Champion Subaru WRX) plus BMW 328i racers Richard Sorensen and Chad Wentzel.
The works Toyota- and Team Total Honda equips will continue a season-long battle in Class B. Topping the class points ladder are Total Honda Ballade V-TEC drivers Curt Alchin and Gavin Cronje', with their toughest competition the Castrol Toyota Corolla RSi entries of Charl Wilken and Mark Cronje'.
Again, the two camps' previous confrontation resulted in crumpled bodywork, and there will be no love lost on the East London starting grid. Others in the class to watch will be Mario da Sousa (Imperial Toyota Corolla RSi), privateers Dave Kopke and Brian Martin in similar cars and Brian Luyt in his Opel Astra 200iE.
Doug Reekie (Ray-Ban Honda Ballade 180i), Bert Grogor (Opel Kadett 180i), Phillip Booysen (Maxi-Flex Honda Ballade) plus fellow Honda racers Vaughn Williams, Lee Phillips, Hector North and Lawrence Boshoff will be the men to beat in the rapidly-growing new Class C for 105-kW cars.
In Class D Stephen Taylor (Deltaparts Opel Corsa 160 GSi) knows that only double race victories and two quickest lap times will do to serve his overall Midas Production Car Championship aspirations. He will be supported in his quest by the identical car of Deltaparts team mate Leeroy Poulter and Nyamako Williams (Petronas Opel Corsa 160 GSi).
Challenging the Opels strongly will be the Ford Fiesta RSi entries of Etienne du Toit and Fanie de Bruin, racing under the respective Murray & Roberts and Makita banners. Finally Phillip Kekana (Sasol Toyota Tazz 160) and Dawie de Villiers (Daihatsu Sirion) will be hoping to benefit from any of the front-runners' mistakes.
Overall title contender Cor Kraamwinkel can not afford mistakes with his Goldi Chicken Opel Kadett 140iS in Class E. Making his target of two race wins difficult to achieve will be James Menin (Gold Reef Midas Opel Corsa 130iS) and Dave Compton (Toyota Tazz). Others to watch in the class will be Craig Nicholson (Ferodo Toyota Tazz), Nico de Waal (Opel Corsa 140i), Angus Thompson (VW Citi Golf) and Riyad Jaffer (Castrol Toyota Tazz).