BMW South Africa Racing at Zwartkops


A win for BMW at Zwartkops and second and third in the championship with two rounds remaining

BMW South Africa

Pretoria. A strong overall performance by both  drivers in their BMW 335i M Performance Parts cars saw Team Afrox BMW  with Pirtek come away with a race win (Johan Fourie), a third (Etienne  van der Linde) and two fourths (one for each) in round seven of the  Bridgestone Production Car Championship at Zwartkops Raceway west of  Pretoria on Saturday.

In the process Van der Linde and Fourie retained their second and  third places in the class A championship, which is still up for the  taking with two rounds remaining.The day started well for the team with Fourie claiming pole position  in qualifying in cold late winter conditions with Van der Linde third.  Fourie led the opening nine-lap sprint race from start to finish with  Van der Linde crossing the line in third place.

The second nine-lap sprint featured a grid with the top eight  finishers in race one starting in reverse order. Van der Linde  improved his start position by two places to finish fourth and set the  fastest lap of the race to earn himself pole position for the  all-important double-points feature race.

Fourie did well to finish sixth from eighth on the grid with the  BMW’s handling badly affected after contact with another car on the  opening lap and smoke pouring from the car as power steering fluid  leaked on to the exhaust.

While Fourie again made up two places to cross the finish line in  fourth place after 15 laps – which gave him second overall for the day  just 0,085 seconds behind Hennie Groenewald – Van der Linde was unable  to capitalise on his pole position. Contact with another car in the  early laps damaged a wheel rim and the tyre started to deflate. He  dropped to second place halfway through the race and then lost another  four places in the last two laps as the tyre went flat.

“It was a disappointing end to what had otherwise not been too bad a  day,“ remarked Van der Linde afterwards. “We chose to use a new set of  tyres in race two to try and set fastest lap and secure pole position  for race three. The downside of this was that we struggled for grip on  worn tyres on an oily track in the feature race and lost out to rivals  who started on fresh tyres.

“We’re retained our second place in the championship and with two  rounds and six races remaining we’re still very much in with a chance  to come out on top in the final round at Kyalami in November.“

Fourie was very happy with his win and overall performance during the  weekend. “My very first win at Zwartkops at last! I can’t believe it.  The team did a great job of preparing two quick cars for us. We just  missed out on overall first for the day, but retained our third place  in the championship. Six races to go and everything still to play for.“

The penultimate round of the championship is at Killarney in Cape  Town on October 5.

In addition to principal sponsor Afrox, the team enjoys backing from  Pirtek, BMW M Performance Parts, EPS Courier Services, Castrol,  Akrapovic Exhaust Systems and BrakeQuip.