ALFA ROMEO AND BMW FIGHT TO THE END
Alfa Romeo Squadra Corse – Rounds 19 & 20 SA Production Car championship
The crowd got what they were looking for at the final round of the 2004 SA Production Car Championship as Martin Steyn and Anthony Taylor, both title hopefuls produced one of the most exciting races of the season at Kyalami this weekend (6 November).
Alfa Romeo Squadra Corse’s first official year back in SA motorsport took on the BMW supremacy and took the championship fight down to the last two races of the season, despite not scoring points twice during the season.
“The formidable effort and success of the team shows just how much passion there is for Alfa Romeo and its strong race track heritage,” said Michael Burkhart, general manager for marketing at Fiat Auto SA. “We put together a strong challenge for the established works BMW team and made 2004 the closest fought production car championship for some time. Our aim was to support SA motorsport and create a spectacle for the crowds and put Alfa Romeo on the top of the podium. We almost succeeded in doing both.”
Alfa Romeo Squadra Corse built the three-car team of Alfa Romeo 147GTAs from scratch this year. “The commitment and hard work of the team is the driving force behind our success. We started from one year’s experience as a privateer car and built three brand new cars that could consistently challenge for the podium. That enthusiasm will continue next year where we will fight again,” said Giorgio Gorelli, managing director of Fiat Auto SA.
During the season, Martin Steyn took the LG Alfissimo Alfa Romeo 147GTA to seven wins ahead of the BMWs of Etienne van der Linde and eventual championship winner Anthony Taylor. Included in those victories was Alfa Romeo’s first official win in 20 years at Kyalami in May.
“We will back in full force next year to challenge BMW again and hopefully some new competitors in a continually improving and competitive Class A,” said Burkhart. “We must congratulate BMW on accepting the challenge and ultimately taking honours.”
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