What a weekend!
After a lot of meticulous hard work the team were ready to take on the new season.
Friday started with the practice rounds and qualifying later in the afternoon. The car was running nicely although slightly under pace and the team qualified 5th.
Michael van Rooyen comments on how things unfolded on Saturday;
“Everything went well on Friday. We were slightly off the pace but I knew we would be stronger on Saturday. Qualifying in fifth we were about 9 tenths off pole position, but as I said we weren’t too concerned as we knew we could be closer on race day, our race pace looked very strong. The first race was a standing start and I seemed to bog down a little off the start. Being a slow off the start I lost a position or two which I made up in the first couple of corners. Unfortunately towards the end of the first lap the car had a spectacular engine blow out. After analysing the engine data we could not determine what caused the blowout and that put me out of race 1 and 2.
Grant and Matthew worked frantically to replace the engine, they did an amazing job and with about half an hour to the final race of the day, they finished getting everything back together. Having not started in the second race I had to start from last place. The Mini, Renault and myself had a tussle for the first 2 laps, going side by side in most corners. As fate would have it the boost pipe came loose on the turbo and I lost a lot of engine performance which put me out of contention.”
Hats off to Grant and Matthew, it is amazing to be able to replace an engine in those conditions within such a time constraint. The team was very disappointed with the days events as they were extremely excited to start the new season fresh.
Michael, being as competitive as he is commented; “We will put all our focus on the new engine. With the current parameters we are quietly confident going to Cape Town, where the new Fords, two new Hyundais and another Renault will join the class.”
We hope to see you at the next event: Killarney, Cape Town on the 16th March.
If you missed the racing here is a short recap: