Bridgestone Production Car Class A Championship
Round 1 Preview
Kyalami, Johannesburg, 23 February 2013
TEAM AFROX BMW STAKES STRONG CLAIM FOR 2013 TITLE
Team Afrox BMW heads for the opening round of the 2013 Bridgestone Production Car Championship at Kyalami this weekend with high hopes of regaining the title they last won in 2010.
The team’s two class A BMW M Performance Parts 335i cars will be driven by Etienne van der Linde and Johan Fourie and backed by principal sponsor Afrox, BMW M Performance Parts, EPS Courier Services, Castrol, Akrapovic Exhaust Systems and new partners for 2013, Pirtek and BrakeQuip.
“We are feeling quite bullish about the new season,“ admitted team principal Donovan van Heerden, the D in ADF Motorsport, who have been in charge of BMW’s production car race programme since 2008.
“We have great sponsor partners – this is our sixth season with Afrox – and what I consider the strongest driver line-up in the championship. Etienne is a past class A champion and won five races last year. Johan was overall champion in 2009. They are good friends and we have already seen a close relationship in the weeks of testing leading up to the Kyalami season-opener. I’m confident they’ll work very well together and push each other to achieve great results together for the team.“
Van Heerden also spoke enthusiastically about the BMW 335i M Performance cars that won nine races last year and will carry the team’s hopes this season. “The BMW 335i is a proven race winner and with the development we carried out during the second half of 2012, together with updates and improvements for the new season, we should be able to take full advantage of the new rules this season that include a 20% reduction in boost.
“The 2013 BMW will also feature the latest BMW M Performance package that includes front bumper with splitter, boot-mounted carbon fibre spoiler, rear diffuser and carbon fibre side mirrors.
“Both cars have been stripped right down to the bare chassis during the off season and rebuilt. There have been improvements to the air intake and cooling systems and testing has shown that we are now managing air flow and oil and water temperatures more efficiently. This is very important as we are now revving the engines higher and working them harder to compensate for the reduction in boost.
“We’ve also improved the electronics package with new software and Motec hardware. Overall test results to date have been very encouraging.“
Etienne van der Linde: “I’m really looking forward to the new season. I believe the rule changes will create much closer racing. This is my second season back after a three-year sabbatical and I’m well prepared mentally and physically for the challenge that lies ahead. With Johan as my new team-mate, ADF Motorsport now has the strongest driver pairing in the field. Our combined experience means we should get the most out of the Afrox BMWs and we will be pushing each other all the way to bring the championship title back to BMW, where it belongs.“
Johan Fourie: “The 2013 Bridgestone Production Car season is going to be a new chapter in my racing career that I can’t wait to embrace. I’m really motivated and excited to work with the ADF Motorsport team and driving an Afrox BMW 335i. I look forward to having Etienne as a team-mate. He’s a good friend and I rate him highly as a driver. We’ve been competing against each other since we raced karts in 1992. Together we make a strong driver line-up and I’m sure we’re going to make BMW and ADF Motorsport very proud. We will give it our all to bring the championship home.“