Two sprints, four different winners in four different brands
information supplied by: Roadworx Communications
16 March 2013
A pair of no-holds-barred metal to metal confrontations was what Killarney spectators witnessed today, as the Bridgestone Super Production Car fields fought for supremacy in the seven-lap sprints.
And when the dust and noise had settled after the first it was pretty much what the pundits had expected, with the BMWs finishing in the order which they qualified: first and second. Johan Fourie romped away with it, Etienne van der Linde riding shotgun – and keeping a train of Audis behind him.
There was little they were able to do, and the Beemers led a pair of S4s home, with Hennie Groenewald next in his Subaru.
Competitors experiencing problems in the heat of battle included Richard Pinard, whose Subaru ingested its brake fluid, leaving him with seriously weakened stopping power, and Michael Stephen, who had his right rear tyre deflate after a wheel to wheel incident with Groenewald, which saw the Audi’s tyre valve ripped out.
Stephen’s second race also went badly, compounded by starting from the back of the grid and he retired after five laps with rising water temperature after a seized pulley dislodged the waterpump belt. His day can only get better.
In was John Mayer on pole in the inverted grid, but he was soon swallowed up in the rolling start, Groenewald making the most of the early congestion to pull ahead in the Subaru. Sipuka, Bonafede and Priest all soon had their Audis ahead of the E90 3-series, with the works BMWs also rapidly getting ahead of Mayer.
Fourie was on a mission to hunt down the four-circle cars, but try as he may there were determined not to let the blue and white propeller past. Less than three seconds separated the first six cars at the flag – Van der Linde at the back of that queue – with Pinard and Mayer as some distance.
In Class T Van Rooyen converted his second on the grid into a win, holding off an enthusiast challenge from Nathan. But it was Formato who made the early running from pole, before being forced to retire with broken front suspension.
Duminy gave Ford’s challenge a semblance of decency with third and Robertson was a contented fourth. Cronje was next, lamenting the fact that he wasn’t able to remove the 50 kilograms of ballast – a concession made by the series organisers to the MINIs low engine capacity – in time for the start.
Formato’s hastily repaired car was good enough to win with in Race 2, comfortably ahead of Nathan and Cronje – now significantly lighter than earlier and able to challenge Nathan. Van Rooyen was slowed with a cracked manifold while Robertson didn’t get out of the pits.
Two sprints, four different winners in four different brands.docx (16kB)