2000 BANKFIN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDS 3 AND 4, ALDO SCRIBANTE CIRCUIT, PORT ELIZABETH RACE DAY, 4/3/00 Colin Windell Shaun Watson-Smith gave Opel its first win of the year when he drove his Petronas Vectra to a convincing first race ...
2000 BANKFIN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDS 3 AND 4, ALDO SCRIBANTE CIRCUIT, PORT ELIZABETH RACE DAY, 4/3/00
Shaun Watson-Smith gave Opel its first win of the year when he drove his Petronas Vectra to a convincing first race lights to flag victory ahead of reigning champion Giniel de Villiers (BP Nissan Dealer Team) and a resurgent Terry Moss (Engen Audi A4) at the Aldo Scribante circuit in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. De Villiers came back in the second race to take the flag.
De Villiers, who started the race from fourth on the grid, moved up to second place after Shaun van der Linde (BMW 318i) and Duncan Vos (BP Nissan Dealer Team Primera) clashed in Firehawk Sweep on lap seven while contesting second place. He closed to within 2,1 seconds of Watson-Smith on lap 12 but then the Opel driver eased away to win by 3,7 seconds.
Both Van der Linde and Vos spun after making contact and, while Vos dropped back to eight place, Van der Linde retired on lap nine with a bent tie-rod. Vos eventually finished seventh.
Moss, the 1996 champion, who started from eighth on the grid, took advantage of several incidents in front of him to finish third and first of the works Engen Audis, 8,9 seconds behind De Villiers. Deon Joubert (Petronas Opel Vectra) was fourth and set a new lap record for Aldo Scribante on lap four. Anthony Taylor was fifth in the second works Audi after running third at half distance. His team fitted a new diff for the race, which worked well in the early stages but caused the tyre wear to accelerate towards the end. Mark Peters was sixth in the third works Nissan after starting from second on the grid. He outbraked himself going into the Honda hairpin on lap one and dropped back to ninth place, battling throughout the rest of the race with a flat-spotted tyre.
The works Nissan team totally dominated the second race of the day, finishing in the order in which they started - 1,2,3 - with De Villiers first (his third win in four races), Vos second and Peters third. Cherry on the top for Nissan and De Villiers was a new lap record and the manufacturers' award for the day.
Watson-Smith, who started from sixth on the grid, completed a successful day with fourth place in his Opel, 2,8 seconds behind Peters and half a second ahead of team-mate Joubert. Moss was sixth in his Audi ahead of the works BMW of Dos Santos and the ex-works Audi of leading privateer Stephen.