Zwartkops season finale race report

Explosive Action Concludes Midas Production Car Championship At Zwartkops Raceway This year's Midas Production Car Championship was finalised in dramatic, car-crunching fashion at the Pretoria Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday (November ...

Explosive Action Concludes Midas Production Car Championship At Zwartkops Raceway

This year's Midas Production Car Championship was finalised in dramatic, car-crunching fashion at the Pretoria Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday (November 10).

Following the season's 22 races, Castrol BMW 328i driver Shaun van der Linde emerged as the overall 2001 South African Midas Production Car Champion. Van der Linde also wrote the year's national Midas Class A title behind his name.

The other national 2001 Production Car Class title holders are Curt Alchin (Class B Team Total Honda Ballade V-TEC), Bert Grogor (Class C German Workshop Opel Kadett 180i), Leeroy Poulter (Class D Deltaparts Opel Corsa 160 GSi) and Cor Kraamwinkel, in his Class E Goldi Chicken Opel Kadett 140iS.

The above results only became official at Zwartkops after a day of explosive spectacle, which had a 7 000-strong crowd on its feet.

The opening Class A race saw Mike O'Sullivan (KW Subaru Impreza WRX), Castrol BMW 328i drivers Shaun van der Linde and Michael Briggs, Kaye-Eddie BMW 328i pilots Gavin Kelsey and Reghardt Roets, Richard Sorensen (IRCA BMW 328i) and Steve Wyndham (Ford Credit Fairmont) engage in close battle.

The formation soon broke up when the BMWs of Sorensen and Kelsey slid off the road after colliding in the pit corner.

A lap later O'Sullivan's Subaru shed an oil pipe, caught fire and stopped in the Tabletop complex. New race leader Van der Linde hit the spilt oil and skidded off the road, narrowly missing a tyre wall before rejoining second, behind Castrol BMW team mate Briggs.

With the overall Midas title at stake, Briggs dutifully waited for Van der Linde and let him through on the final lap to clinch both the race and the Championship. Briggs took second place, leading home Wyndham's Ford and Roets' BMW.

Race Two was no less robust.

Going into the first corner, Wyndham muscled his Ford into the lead, thumping the BMWs of both Van der Linde and Briggs in the process.

A lap later, the BMWs of Sorensen and Roets collided at the end of the pit straight, skidding off the road in unison. With Sorensen's car stranded on the edge of the track, the Safety Car was deployed to slow proceedings down. However, since it did not display such vehicles' usual flashing yellow lights and markings, the entire field blasted past it at racing speed, led by Wyndham in his Ford.

Coming up to the Safety Car a second time two tours later, Wyndham again passed it, while the rest of the competitors elected to follow it line astern. Wyndham's actions earned him a stop-and-go penalty in the pit lane, leaving Briggs to win the race from Van der Linde and Kelsey.

Matters proceeded more smoothly in Class B, with Gavin Cronje' (Team Total Honda Ballade V-TEC) winning Race One from the identical cars of Curt Alchin and Clinton Weston, plus the AV Toyota Corolla RXi of Mario da Sousa.

The second race win went to Weston, ahead of Cronje', Da Sousa and Alchin.

Lawrence Boshoff (Orbit Coach Honda Ballade 180i) won both of the Class C races, leading home Phillip Booysen (Barnett's Honda Ballade 180i), Ian Long (Fuel Saver Honda Ballade 180i) and Lee Phillips (Honda Ballade 180i) on the first occasion.

Pre-event Class C title leader Bert Grogor (German Workshop Opel Kadett 180i) had to settle for sixth place after hitting oil and sliding off the track. Grogor made no mistakes in the following race, finishing second and clinching the year's title by a single point from Boshoff.

The third and fourth places went to Ian Long and Hector North (East Rand Mall Honda Ballade 180i).

Both of the Class D races went to Stephen Taylor (Deltaparts Opel Corsa 160 GSi, followed both times by the identical car of Leeroy Poulter, Dawie de Villiers (Daihatsu Sirion) and Fanie de Bruin (Makita Ford Fiesta RSi).

The opening Class E race went to Toyota Tazz driver Dave Compton, ahead of Cor Kraamwinkel's Opel Kadett, Angus Thompson's Garonga VW CitiGolf and Jody Powell's STER Opel Corsa 130iS.

Robbi Beninca (Motorhouse VW CitiGolf) won the second time around, leading home Powell, Thompson, Compton and Hans Moore (Toyota Tazz).

Dave Compton was chosen as CAR Magazine's Rookie of the Day, with Hans Moore awarded the CAR Trier of the Day award.

-MPCC-

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Series General
Drivers Gavin Cronje , Leeroy Poulter