The third round of the Bridgestone Production Car Championship, which took place in Port Elizabeth on 30 April, tested Team Ford Racing’s stamina and dedication. Despite being faced with adversity, the team was able to achieve a credible victory and set two fastest laps.
The weekend didn’t get off to a good start with both Gary Formato and Shaun Duminy struggling with the set up of their BP / Castrol Ford Focus STs. Things went from bad to worse when Formato rolled his car on Friday afternoon. Whilst some may have called an end to the race weekend, Team Ford Racing showed true grit and determination soldiering on. Duminy demonstrated his commitment to the team, swopping cars with Formato, while the team worked late into the night turning a display vehicle into a fully fledged racing car for Duminy.
The first race was a difficult one with Formato finishing fourth and Duminy seventh.
The partially reversed grid for the second race worked to the team’s advantage with Formato being placed on pole position. He led for four laps, setting the fastest lap of the race before getting a puncture in what could likely have been a race win. Duminy finished seventh with Formato eighth.
Formato started the third race from second on the grid and held this position to the finish line while Duminy drove hard to take the flag in sixth.
The partially inverted grid for the final race saw Duminy on pole and Formato fifth on the grid. After an incredible start, Formato led the race by the end of the first lap impressing the crowds as he took the race win and set the fastest lap of the race. Duminy finished a credible fifth.
“It was almost a disastrous weekend for us, but in the end we were able to save the day and achieve victory in front of the huge Port Elizabeth crowd,” commented Formato.
“Although winning all four races is our ultimate goal, I am pleased that both Gary and I scored points in every race this weekend. A great tribute to the strength and reliability of the Focus ST,” concluded Duminy.
The next round of the championship will be held at Phakisa (Welkom) on 4 June 2011.