Kyalami report

AUDI GRANDSLAM AT KYALAMI KYALAMI, ZA: Four wins from four starts in its debut appearance in South Africa gave the Audi A4 maximum points and the Manufacturers Championship Cup at the AA Fleetcare Super Touring international on ...

Kyalami report

AUDI GRANDSLAM AT KYALAMI

KYALAMI, ZA: Four wins from four starts in its debut appearance in South Africa gave the Audi A4 maximum points and the Manufacturers Championship Cup at the AA Fleetcare Super Touring international on Saturday.

Frank Biela and Chris Aberdein shared the driving, each scoring two victories in the four-race format of the event with Biela also setting a new lap record of 1m46,201s for the 4,27 kilometre circuit.

The Audi A4 driven by the winning pair was completed and delivered to Audi in South Africa only weeks before the event and torrential rain in the run up to the race left the team with precious little time to do any local testing and even less time for Aberdein to get used to his new car, which he will campaign through the 1996 season.

World Champion, Frank Biela, was immediately quick during the qualifying sessions and rapidly established himself in pole position for both his heats ahead of Deon Joubert (BMW 318i Envirocar), Grant McCleery (Opel Vectra), John Cleland (Opel Vectra) and Julian Bailey (Minolta Toyota Camry).

However, the final qualifying session for heats two and four produced high drama when Opel Vectra team mates Mike Briggs and Anthony Reid had their front row positions disallowed.

Both were on flying laps when the BMW of Marco dos Santos spun into the wall at Nashua Corner behind them. The practice was red flagged but both Opels continued through the back section of the track to the finish line.

For disobeying the red flag both drivers were relegated to the back of the grid, a decision immediately protested by Opel Racing. Finally, the appeal went in favour of Briggs who was re-instated in pole position with the Aberdein Audi A4 alongside him. Reid remained banished to the back of the grid.

David Brabham and Shaun van der Linde gave BMW the second row with Giniel de Villiers in the BP Nissan Sentra fifth fastest ahead of Anthony Taylor (Castrol Toyota Camry) and Belgian driver Vincent Vosse in the Rothmans Audi 80 quattro he was sharing with Terry Moss.

Australian Craig Baird (Motorplan BMW 318i) and Tiff Needell (BP Nissan Sentra) made up the fifth row.

Race 1

From pole position Biela took the Audi A4 into an immediate lead and was never really under any pressure, going away to win comfortably, 6,14 seconds ahead of Deon Joubert's BMW and the Opel Vectra piloted by Grant McCleery.

McCleery moved into second place on the opening lap and managed to defend the position for two laps before Joubert could find a way around the Opel, the pair under some pressure from Julian Bailey in the Minolta Toyota Camry although he was unable to improve his lot and remained fourth for the duration.

Behind him Terry Moss in the Rothmans Audi 80 quattro and British Champion John Cleland in the second Opel Vectra fought a bruising battle with plenty of wheel banging for all 12 laps, Moss finally managing to pass Cleland at the AA Kink on the penultimate lap to take fifth place.

The slick track surface saw the demise of Nic de Waal's BP Nissan Sentra on lap three when he slid off at the AA Kink, narrowly missing contact with the wall at the end of the gravel trap. The surface also caught out Geoff Brabham when he twice spun the BMW in the AA Bowl.

With Cleland in sixth place Tim Harvey was left to bring the sole remaining Nissan home in a distant seventh place ahead of Masanori Sekiya (Castrol Toyota Camry), Marco Werner (AM-Holzer Motorsport BMW), Sabine Reck (Motorplan BMW), Geoff Brabham, Edi Kamm (Scanmo Mozambique VW Vento) and Alex Gaggl (AM-Holzer Motorsport BMW).

Race 2

Reinstated to his pole position South African Champion Mike Briggs made good use of the opportunity to blast away from the line and into the lead followed closely by Chris Aberdein in the Audi A4 and Giniel de Villiers in the BP Nissan Sentra.

Aberdein trailed Briggs for four laps before powering his way past the Opel to open up a sizeable lead. De Villiers produced his best performance of the season, moving into second place on the penultimate lap when he went past Briggs at the Rothmans Esses, taking Vincent Voss (Audi 80) along for the ride.

Fuel pickup problems then had Briggs battling and he finally dropped back to finish sixth.

In the midfield Mike White's Minolta Camry and the BMW Envirocars of Shaun van der Linde and David Brabham were engaged in a terrific scrap, Brabham finally coming out on top with enough left for a late charge to surprise, and pass, Vosse on the line for third place.

Van der Linde was fifth followed by Briggs, Mike White, Hennie Groenewald (VW Vento) and Anthony Taylor (Castrol Toyota Camry) who stalled on the start line.

Tiff Needell (Nissan Sentra) and Craig Baird (Motorplan BMW) were early casualties when they met coming onto the start/finish straight, both cars retiring with body damage.

Race 3

Although Frank Biela ran out the winner to give Audi its third win of the day he fluffed the start and was beaten into the first corner by Grant McCleery (Opel Vectra) and Julian Bailey in the Minolta Toyota Camry.

Biela went to second at the end of the lap, but McCleery put in a staunch effort to hold the German at bay for another four laps. When Biela finally went past McCleery, Julian Bailey in the Toyota seized the opportunity and followed the Audi through the gap to demote McCleery to third place.

Deon Joubert in the BMW and Terry Moss in the Rothmans Audi 80 were running strongly in the top five in the early stages but a gearbox linkage failure ended Moss' charge on lap three.

Tim Harvey (Nissan Sentra) and Marco Werner (Holzer BMW) steadily closed the gap on Joubert but were unable to find a way past, Harvey finally settling for fifth ahead of Werner, Alex Gaggl (Holzer BMW), Geoff Brabham (BMW), Sabine Reck (BMW), Mark de Nobrega (BMW) and Masanori Sekiya (Castrol Toyota Camry).

Race 4

With the fuel problem on the Briggs/Cleland Opel Vectra terminal the pair obtained agreement from the other teams to swop into the McCleery/Reid car and still retain pole position.

Briggs again outdragged Aberdein's Audi off the line and scorched away into the lead but was back in the pits three laps later after hitting the tyre barrier (placed to discourage corner cutting) on the inside of the AA Kink.

This left Aberdein way out in front with a comfortable cruise to the finish to give Audi a clean sweep for the day.

As the cherry on top Vincent Vosse produced a drive of epic proportions to hustle the Rothmans Audi 80 from sixth place on the opening lap through to second at the flag, first passing Craig Baird's BMW and then reeling in Giniel de Villiers (Nissan Sentra) and Shaun van der Linde (BMW).

De Villiers then went past Van der Linde to secure third place while Baird finally finished fifth after being pressured by David Brabham in the closing stages of the race - Brabham having started from the pit lane and put in an inspired drive through the rest of the field to claim sixth place ahead of Tiff Needell and Wolfgang Haugg.

AA FLEETCARE SUPER TOURING INTERNATIONAL, KYALAMI, ZA November 25. 4 races of 12 laps, 51,12 km each.

Race 1

1. Frank Biela (Audi A4), 21m33,64s, 143 km/h; 2. Deon Joubert (BMW 318i), 21m39,795s; 3. Grant McCleery (Opel Vectra), 21m42,496s; 4. Julian Bailey (Toyota Camry), 21m45,375s; 5. Terry Moss (Audi 80), 21m47,885s; 6. John Cleland (Opel Vectra), 21m49,946s; 7. Tim Harvey (Nissan Sentra), 21m55,274s; 8. Masanori Sekiya (Toyota Camry), 21m59,189s; 9. Marco Werner (BMW 320i), 22m03,133s; 10. Geoff Brabham (BMW 318i), 22m19,497s

Race 2

1. Chris Aberdein (Audi A4), 21m36,269s, 141 km/h; 2. Giniel de Villiers (Nissan Sentra), 21m46,556s; 3. David Brabham (BMW 318i), 21m49,486s; 4. Vincent Vosse (Audi 80), 21m49,490s; 5. Shaun van der Linde (BMW 318i), 21m51,930s; 6. Michael Briggs (Opel Vectra), 21m52,128s; 7. Mike White (Toyota Camry), 21m53,099s; 8. Hennie Groenewald (VW Vento), 22m14,266s; 9. Anthony Taylor (Toyota Camry), 22m27,067s; 10. Charl Wilken (Toyota Sprinter) -1.

Race 3

1. Frank Biela (Audi A4), 21m34,093s, 143 km/h; 2. Julian Bailey (Toyota Camry), 21m38,628s; 3. Grant McCleery (Opel Vectra), 21m40,698s; 4. Deon Joubert (BMW 318i), 21m45,245s; 5. Tim Harvey (Nissan Sentra), 21m47,243s; 6. Marco Werner (BMW 320i), 21m51,724s; 7. Alex Gaggl (BMW 318i), 21m52,410s; 8. Geoff Brabham (BMW 318i), 21m58,175s; 9. Sabine Reck (BMW 318i), 21m59,370s; 10. Mark de Nobrega (BMW 318i), 22m13,419s

Race 4

1. Chris Aberdein (Audi A4), 21m43,629s, 141 km/h; 2. Vincent Vosse (Audi 80), 21m49,490s; 3. Giniel de Villiers (Nissan Sentra), 21m46,556s; 4. Shaun van der Linde (BMW 318i), 21m51,930s; 5. Craig Baird (BMW 318i), 21m51,109s; 6. David Brabham (BMW 318i), 21m49,486s; 7. Tiff Needell (Nissan Sentra), 22m04,236s; 8. Wolfgang Haugg (BMW 318i), 22m42,493s; 9. Duncan Vos (Nissan Sentra), -1; 10. Hein Lategan (VW Jetta)

Fastest Lap: Frank Biela (Audi A4) 1m46,201 (lap record) Manufacturers Cup

1. Audi 47 points; 2. BMW Envirocars 19 points; 3. Nissan Motorsport 12 points; 4. Opel Motorsport 10 points; 5. Toyota Dealer Team 9 points.

*********************************************************** Colin Windell <colin.windell@digitec.co.za> CyberRace Inc (c) 1995. All rights reserved ************************************************************

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