Johan Fourie, South Africa’s reigning Drivers and WesBank V8 Champion, celebrated his birthday weekend with two strong finishes at the third round of the Vodacom Power Tour at Aldo Scribante Race Circuit in Port Elizabeth increasing his points lead in the championship to five. The previous Thursday marked both Johan and his mother’s birthdays, the champion turning 25 years old. -

- Thursday’s free practice saw Johan and his Sasol DualFuel Astra set the pace ahead of teammate Shaun Watson-Smith and the rest of the field. Friday continued in much the same vein, and while Johan was fastest, he still felt his Astra V8 could have done with some improvements. Changes to the rear wing and suspension saw Johan go marginally faster in the final session before qualifying, but then came the late afternoon grid-decider. -

- “I spent the last few weeks getting mentally and physically prepared for this race. I knew it would be tough and it was important for me to do the best I could. I was encouraged by my times all through Thursday and Friday, as I was the without doubt the pacesetter. -

- There were a few minor changes I asked my mechanics to make to my car, which helped me marginally. I was really confident I could put the car on pole position for Saturday’s two races. But then, literally and figuratively, out of the blue, came Grant van Schalkwyk in his blue and yellow Hi-Q Ford Mustang! Not only did he set pole for the first race but the second race too! – He surprised everyone.” -

- In qualifying in the WesBank SAMCAR V8’s each competitor takes his two fastest qualifying laps in relation to the rest of the field as his grid position for the two respective race heats. -

- Saturday’s two races saw van Schalkwyk run away with a pair of victories, but Johan Fourie kept him honest by managing second place in both heats. “I drove the hell out of my car in the race. Not even Michael Schumacher would have been able to catch Grant in my car. He just had so much power in a straight line I had no way of staying on his tail. -

- “I’m really happy with my two-second places. Although I hate coming anywhere but first, I know there is no way I could have driven better or got more out of my car. I still managed to increase my point’s lead in the championship and am in a great position to capitalise on this in the next few races. I also had a great birthday with my team throwing my mother and I a party on Thursday night and after the races we had a huge bash on Saturday night. I can’t wait for East London on the 24th May, when I hope I can return to winning ways.” -

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Original article from Car