The Audi S4 quattros were the dominant force in Bridgestone Production Cars at Aldo Scribante Raceway in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. Overall results saw the trio of Audi S4 quattros claim first, second and third place on the day.
With four sprint races on the day, the Audi entries utterly dominated proceedings taking all three podiums on each occasion bar for second place in race one. The only difference for the races was the finishing order.
In race one Johan Fourie (A14 – IndyOil) crossed the line after eight laps of competition to claim first place with Tschops Sipuka (A4 – Engen Xtreme) in third. The BMW entry of Anthony Taylor (A1) was sandwiched between for second place. Race two again saw Fourie cross the line for first place, this time followed by Michael Stephen (A3 – Engen Xtreme) with Sipuka again taking third place.
Race three saw Stephen moving up to take the race victory followed by teammate Sipuka and Fourie crossing the finish after the eight lap race for third. The fourth, and last, race of the day saw Fourie again claim the victory, followed by Stephen and Sipuka.
“I qualified second, but got a three-race grid penalty because the car didn’t pass the stall test – it was leaking through the air box,” says Stephen. “Then in the first and second races there was a problem so every time I accelerated I actually lost power.
“It was a brilliant race each time out on Saturday, I had to work my way through the field, having to pull moves in the corners to get through,” says Stephen. “Then I got knocked off and had to do it all over again. It was an exciting race day inside the car – and for the spectators!”
“I’ve jumped from fourth to second in the championship,” says Stephen. “I’m now just 12 points behind Johan so definitely in the hunt for the title.”
For Stephen’s teammate, Tschops Sipuka, the day was equally exciting.
“It was a great race, we’ve been looking forward to the Audi S4 quattros. They put up a very good fight,” says Sipuka. “The results at Scribante are amongst the best I’ve had and I also had very good support from the people who came to watch.
“The team was in the zone and it was a very good result, now we intend to repeat that in East London.”
For the new championship leader, the Scribante outing has been reward for months of hard work in the preparation of his new Audi S4 quattro. This was just the second time in competition in the new car.
“The car was good, I was heartbroken after qualifying when the airbox problem saw us penalised,” says Fourie. “It would also have been great to win all four races – which could have happened if I hadn’t been bumped by Taylor in the dying stages of race three.
“We did achieve the lead in the championship after this weekend and the game plan is to dominate the next few events. We’re confident for the rest of the season and expecting to do well at both the East London and Cape Town events,” says Fourie. “I’ll also be looking to win my first race at Zwartkops this season. We want to perform this season, we’re out to win.