Alfa Romeo scored its first victory in SA championship saloon car racing at Kyalami in twenty years on Saturday when Martin Steyn notched up a double win in his 147 GTA.

Alfa Romeo scored its first victory in SA championship saloon car racing at Kyalami in twenty years on Saturday when Martin Steyn notched up a double win in his 147 GTA.


The Italian manufacturer had not won a championship saloon car race at Kyalami since the late Nico Bianco took the chequered flag at the wheel of an Alfa GTV6 3,0 in 1984.


Rounds five and six of the national title chase for production cars attracted 34 entries and at the front end of the field, BMW's habitual Class A dominance was ended in historical manner.


Following Friday's official qualifying session, Steyn (Squadra Corse) was third on the starting grid, behind Anthony Taylor (Castrol BMW 330i) and Steve Wyndham (Ford Credit Falcon XR8).


Wyndham blasted the big Ford into the lead at the start of Saturday's opening race, hotly pursued by Steyn and Taylor. However, a determined Steyn forced his Alfa into the lead on the fifth lap and beat Wyndham to the flag by a narrow margin, followed by Taylor, Etienne van der Linde (Castrol BMW 330i), Richard Sorensen (Titan Aviation BMW 330i), Morne Jurgens (Alfissimo Alfa 147 GTA) and Marco da Cunha (Alfissimo Alfa 156 GTA).


Disaster struck for Taylor soon after the start of the second race when, tagged from behind, his BMW spun into the pit wall and instant retirement. That left Steyn to score Alfa Romeo's second victory of the day, chased to the flag by Etienne van der Linde's BMW, Morne Jurgens' Alfa, Steve Wyndham's Ford, plus Kaye-Eddie BMW 330i drivers Steven Morris and Robbie Smith.


In Class B, Craig Nicholson (Sabat Bosal MINI Cooper S) won the opening round after a race-long tussle with the similar Castrol MINI Cooper S of BMW factory driver Shaun van der Linde.


Van der Linde reversed the positions in race two, to retain his overall points lead in this year's championship. Third on both occasions after two faultless drives was Phillip Kekana in his

Sasol Toyota RunX Rsi.


Both heats of the class B Honda Challenge were won by Doug Reekie (Config Online Honda Ballade 180i). Cor Kraamwinkel (Daihatsu Sirion 1300) won the opening Class C race from

Eckhart Schoenknecht (Caltex VW Polo Tdi), Robi Beninca (Technical Services VW CitiGolf 1,6i) and James Menin (Goldco Midas Opel Corsa 160 GSi).


Pre-event favourite Dave Compton (BumperTech Toyota Tazz 1600) retired after being barged off the road on the sixth lap.


Compton made no mistakes the second time around and won, ahead of Schoenknecht, Kraamwinkel and Shane Williams (Trident Press Ford Ikon 1,6i).


Schoenknecht was later crowned as the CAR Magazine Rookie of the Day and secured a cheque for R1 000. Taking the CAR Magazine Challenge laurels at the end of the day were Martin Steyn, Shaun van der Linde, Doug Reekie and Ekard Schoenknecht.


The next rounds of the 2004 South African Production Car Championship will be held at the Port Elizabeth Aldo Scribante circuit on Saturday, May 29.

Original article from Car