In the first race of the local Production Car championship using the new racing format, young East London racer Erckart Schoenknecht became only the second person to race a diesel car in South Africa.

In the first race of the local Production Car championship using the new racing format, young East London racer Erckart Schoenknecht became only the second person to race a diesel car in South Africa.

In a competitive race throughout the field comprising just under 40 cars, the regular front runners still dominated in their respective classes.

In the opening race, the factory BMW 330is of Etienne van der Linde and Anthony Taylor (pictured right) snatched the first two places. They were challenged by the parade of Alfa Romeos – Martin Steyn and Mornè Jurgens in the 147 GTA and Marco da Cunha in the 156 GTA – while Steven Morris in the other BMW 330i and Steve Wyndham in the Ford Falcon XR8 completed the pack.

In the eventful first race, the terrifying pace claimed many victims. Taylor’s BMW was nudged off the circuit and out of the race on lap two, Jurgens’ Alfa Romeo stopped with electrical bothers two laps later, while Wyndhams’ Ford and Steyn’s Alfa made contact and retired on the penultimate lap.

This left Etienne van der Linde to win in the works BMW, followed by Richard Sorensen (BMW 330i), Marco da Cunha (Alfa 156 GTA) and Stephen Morris in his BMW.

In the second Class A race, Taylor pressurised his works teammate throughout, until the two BMWs arrived at the final corner side by side. Van der Linde then made a mistake and spun his car, with Taylor going on to collect the victory.

Sorensen’s BMW, Martin Steyn’s Alfa 147 GTA, Van der Linde’s recovered works BMW and Morne Jurgens’ Alfa 147 GTA complted the standings.

Both Class B victories went to Shaun van der Linde in the works MINI Cooper S, following two huge dices with Clint Weston’s factory Ford Focus ST170.

The respective third places were taken by Bert Grogor (German Workshop

Toyota Corolla RSi) and Brian Martin (Havoline Toyota RunX RSi).

After the first Production Car race for the Volkswagen Polo 1,9TDI, Schoenknecht said he was satisfied with the car’s performance considering he had only received it “less than a week ago” and had hardly started with the setup.

The event’s two Class C victories were shared by Dave Compton (Toyota Tazz) and Angus Thompson (VW CitiGolf). Miguel Pasqualli (Ford Ikon 1,6i) and Cor Kraamwinkel (Daihatsu Sirion) finished behind them on both occasions.

The next round of the year’s South African Production Car Championship will be held at the Killarney circuit in Cape Town on April 3.

Original article from Car