Car Magazine’s Craig Nicholson will return to National circuit racing at AA Kyalami this weekend (Sat 22 Feb) where he will campaign a Honda Ballade 180i in class C of the Production Car Championship. -

- Nicholson will again enjoy the backing of Sabat Batteries and has moved up to class C from the fraught “brat pack” battles of class D last year. In only his second year of racing Craig held his own in the hotly contested class last year and was regularly in contention for podium positions despite the fact that his campaign was bedevilled by a lack of sponsorship. Sadly the season, which had shown much promise, finished badly when Nicholson’s Toyota Tazz was involved in a high-speed shunt at Killarney last September. The crash was a bitter blow as Nicholson had just secured Sabat backing and was looking forward to completing the season with some good results. -

- Since then Nicholson has not raced and has been champing at the bit to return to the drivers seat. Following the withdrawal of Toyota from circuit racing, Craig sought a new car and found one in the form of the Honda Ballade 180i owned and previously campaigned by Lee Phillips in class C. Lee is still a keen racer, but a persistent back injury has forced him out of the drivers seat. The motor dealer from Benoni was however looking to stay involved with the Production Car Championship as a team owner and manager. After discussions Nicholson and Philips decided to form a partnership that will see Craig drive the car this year while Lee takes care of team management duties and brings additional backing to the team through his motor vehicle company Auto Motive. -

- Despite his long stint away from competitive driving, Nicholson was soon turning respectable lap times while testing the Sabat Honda at Zwartkops recently and is looking forward to the first race of the season. -

- “I’m thrilled that Sabat have again chosen to back our campaign and I hope to repay them with some good results this year”, said Craig “ It’s true we had a difficult season last year, but I learned a tremendous amount and I am looking forward to putting that experience to good use. What has been very encouraging is the fact that I have managed to retain all of my sponsors and I must thank Champion and Ferodo for their continued supply of spark plugs and brake pads, Car Magazine for their assistance with travel arrangements, and Sasol who will again partner my campaign as a fuel and lubricants supplier. We will again race on Firestone tyres this year and I am very pleased that they have chosen to continue their association with Production Car racing, their involvement is greatly appreciated by privateers such as myself.” he added. -

- Class C will be an all Honda affair this year and Nicholson is looking forward to competing with some of the more experienced drivers in the class. “ I have a lot to learn from some of the other class C campaigners and I hope to give them all a good race for the title”, quipped an upbeat Nicholson ahead of the first race of the season.

Original article from Car