Bridgestone Production Car Class A Championship
Round 5 Preview
Durban Street Races, KwaZulu-Natal, 15 and 16 June 2013
Issued on: 10 June 2013
TEAM AFROX/PIRTEK BMW READY FOR DURBAN STREET RACES
After a five-week break since round four at Zwartkops Raceway in Gauteng, the Bridgestone South African Production Car Championship resumes in Durban on June 15 and 16.
Team Afrox/Pirtek BMW‘s former champions Etienne van der Linde and Johan Fourie are eager to tackle the challenge of the season’s only street circuit and are well prepared to defend their honour after enjoying several successful test sessions at Zwartkops Raceway.
Following his dominant performance in round four at Zwartkops Raceway in May, where he scored two wins in the three races and established a new lap record, Van der Linde finds himself in third place in the championship, 32 points behind defending champion and current championship leader Michael Stephen and eight points behind Melvill Priest.
“I’m excited to return to Durban, where I had a good weekend in 2012 with a 2nd and a 1st in the two races,” the Johannesburg businessman said. “I enjoy the challenge of racing on a street circuit. I just need to keep the momentum going to be able to challenge for the championship at the end of the season. We have tested some upgrades that should make the Team Afrox/ Pirtek BMW a strong contender for more wins.”
It will be Fourie’s first appearance in the BMW M Performance Parts 335i in Durban and, after not making the trip to KwaZulu-Natal last year, his first experience of the concrete wall-lined circuit.
After his fast start to his first season with Team Afrox/Pirtek BMW, with wins at both Kyalami in February and Killarney in March, the Capetonian has dropped to fifth in the championship, six points behind his team-mate, after a troubled outing at Zwartkops.
“I’ve got a bit of ground to make up if I’m to challenge for another championship,” he admitted. “Coming in to the Zwartkops weekend I was second in the championship after two wins and four podiums, but went home frustrated and fifth in the point standings after a DNF in race one and two fifth places. This wasn’t a true reflection of either me or my car and I’ll be aiming to rectify this in Durban this weekend.”
Official practice and qualifying will be on Friday, with an eight-lap sprint race at 12.15 on Saturday and a 16-lap feature race at the same time on Sunday. The street circuit has been changed slightly and also lengthened to 2,5 kilometres.
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.