Pole position for heat two and a second place finish overall keeps the Sabat Bosal MINI firmly in the lead pack at Port Elizabeth. -

- With such a strong performance at the Aldo Scribante circuit for round four of the Vodacom Power Tour one would imagine that the team would be overjoyed with the result. However team driver Craig Nicholson was somewhat disappointed at the outcome. -

- “After the first timed practice session it was evident that we were quickest, and by a reasonable margin too. Unfortunately early in the second session I had a coming together with a class C competitor that seriously damaged our front left suspension. We broke the lower control arm bushes and bent the steering arm and shock turret top, and I think the steering rack also took some damage. The next two sessions were spent trying to find our pace again, and while the Sabat Bosal team did a remarkable job in getting the car back on the track, we never were able to find the lap times we had in the first session again.” lamented Nicholson. -

- A solid performance in qualifying saw the B23 car produce two near identical laps, the first good enough for third in heat one while the second secured the pole position for heat two as the other class B competitors could not match their own first lap qualifying pace. -

- With rainy weather greeting the competitors on race day, warm up proved interesting as Nicholson showed very good pace in the wet despite only putting in one flying lap. Indeed, some of the class B cars embarrassed a few of the much more powerful class A cars in the session. -

- The wet weather soon passed and heat one was started on a drying, but somewhat greasy, track. Nicholson’s poor start was negated at the first corner when a fracas involving the class A midfield caused mayhem in the class B ranks and the Sabat Bosal MINI slotted into third behind the Ford Focus of Clint Weston and the other MINI Cooper S of Shaun van der Linde. For the next six laps Craig hounded the two in a race that enthralled the large crowd. However, by mid race distance the front tyres on Craig’s car had given their best and he slowly dropped back from the lead dice to finish a strong and unchallenged third. -

- The team was more confident for the second heat as they had saved their best Bridgestone tyres for last to try and capitalise on the pole position. A rocket start saw Craig humble the odd class A car and leave the rest of class B to squabble behind him. Nicholson maintained a gap for the first two laps but was compromised when a class A car returned to the track after an excursion to the infield and forced him to back off momentarily. After that it was an intense defensive battle as the Sabat MINI held of the Ford Focus of Clint Weston, who was driving in a determined fashion. Eventually the Focus slid past under braking as Craig ran a little deep in the braking zone on a greasy track. The frustrated driver tried to come back at Weston, but the cars were very evenly matched and were separated by less than a second at the flag. -

- “All in all we shouldn’t be disappointed, but I just can’t help feeling that I lost a race win rather than earned a second position. My team was fantastic and put in tremendous effort to keep us competitive throughout the weekend. They also looked decidedly hip in their new Lizzard clothing and we are thrilled to welcome the clothing brand to the team as a new sponsor.” mused Craig-

- Meanwhile, team manager Lee Philips has been working hard on some developments for the car and expects the Sabat Bosal MINI to have found some more pace for the next race meeting at Zwartkops on June 26th.

Original article from Car