Zwartkops preview

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

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


Invigorated by their win at Kyalami recently, the Rothmans Audi team are going to the ninth and tenth rounds of the AA Fleetcare Super Touring Championship at Zwartkops on April 29 with the express intention of winning.

"The track is still an unknown quantity for us," said Andre van der Watt, Manager of Audi Sport. "We will be doing intensive testing in the week prior to the race to learn the right setups for the circuit as well as to test the new aerodynamic packages on the two Rothmans Audi quattros.

"The revised aerodynamics consist of new splitters and wings and are the latest 1995 specification homologated by the FIA and we hope the increased downforce provided by this new package will help with both straight line stability and cornering speeds."

Van der Watt added the double victory by Volvo at the Brands Hatch round of the British series had given added encouragement to the Rothmans Audi team.

"Volvo's wins on Dunlop tyres have shown clearly this is the right choice of rubber for touring car racing and more than justifies the time we have spent tyre testing with Dunlop.

"In our own situation the difference between our first visit to Kyalami and the last race meeting there was 2,5 seconds a lap - much of which could be attributed to correct tyre selection and the right choice of compound. Naturally, our on-going engine development programme played a significant role in the improved performance of both cars and we hope to have completed further improvements in time for the Zwartkops race meeting."

Van der Watt pointed out the tight and narrow Zwartkops track required precision driving and tyre management techniques from the drivers.

"Zwartkops, because it is so narrow, tends to be far less forgiving than Kyalami for example when the tyres start to go off," he said. "The driver that is precise and looks after his tyres will have something of an advantage in the latter stages of each race.

"From previous experience at Killarney we know the two Audis have significantly less tyre wear than some of the other teams and both Terry Moss and Chris Aberdein will be using this to their full advantage at Zwartkops.

"Of course, if it could rain it would be a bonus," he grinned.

For Opel the Kyalami round became an expensive one with extensive to both Vectras - Mike Briggs shunting his car heavily in the wet conditions when he slid off into the armco at Total and Grant McCleery damaging the front end of his car in a coming together with Chris Aberdein's Audi.

However, with Briggs still the clear points leader, the Opels (and Briggs particularly) remain the team to beat in the South African series.

Another unknown quantity will be the performance of the two Sasol Ford Mondeos on the tight two kilometre circuit. Without the benefit of power steering the Mondeo is a heavy and difficult car to drive and both Sarel van der Merwe and Steve Wyndham will have their work cut out wrestling the cars through the six major turns that make up the circuit.


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

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Series General
Drivers Sarel van der Merwe