The 15th Sasol Race Day formed part of the fifth round of the National Production Car Championship. The racetrack was a hive of activity and the air was filled with the smell of burning rubber. The revving of highly-tuned performance motors added to the excitement. However, it was the racing that got our hearts pumping.
With regards to the action-packed racing that is the Engen Volkswagen Cup, it was perhaps the greatest display of bad luck experienced by one racer, Shaun La Reservée (9 – Alpine Motors / Compendium) who started two races – but was unable to finish a single lap on race day.
In contrast to this, the championship leader, Sheldon van der Linde (1 – Champion) was at the top of the results sheets the entire weekend, fastest in qualifying, winner of race one and two and first overall for the day.
The second race of the day was the longer 20-lap race, a real contrast to the eight-lap race held to open the day for the Engen Volkswagen Cup competitors. It proved a taxing outing for the field, but added an extra dimension to the national championship and it was a fantastic spectacle to see.
Some other great racing came courtesy of the production cars, in particular the Audi S4s. As has become expected from the Audi S4 quattro competitors, they were right in the thick of the race day action at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday.
The four Audi S4 quattros were the top four qualifying NPCC competitors on Saturday morning, with Gennaro Bonafede (32 – Audi Sasolracing) the quickest followed by Simon Moss (38 – Engen Xtreme), Hennie Groenewald (8 – Audi Sasolracing) and Michael Stephen (12 – Engen Xtreme). This also meant the first two rows of the starting grid for race one were all Audi.
For Bonafede, starting on pole meant his first race win for the day, with teammate Groenewald in second place and Stephen in third. Moss brought his Audi S4 quattro home for fifth. With race two a reverse grid, the Audi S4 quattro racers were faced with having to fight their way through the field. By the chequered flag, Groenewald had worked his way up to second place with Stephen fourth, Bonafede fifth and Moss sixth.
For race three it was Bonafede again in the lead with the Audi S4 quattro across the finish line, winning the last race of the day, with Stephen in fourth, Groenewald fifth and Moss ending the day in 15th place.
Being there, on the pit wall with these cars flying past, is an extraordinary thing! The vibe and the love of motorsport can be found everywhere. What's also nice about these events is the fact that you can get up close to the cars, the drivers and the pit crews.
We look forward to the next action-packed race day, which is set to take place at Dezzi's Raceway in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday, 29th August. We hope to see you there!
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