Zwartkops – 4th May

The weekend at Zwartkops Raceway started on a bad note, during the first practice round on the Friday the Chevrolet Cruze had an ABS failure resulting in Michael spinning off the track in turn 4 at almost 180km/h. Fortunately due to some superb driving skills the tough Chevrolet Cruze only just grazed the barrier and Michael was able to return to the pits unscathed.

The Williams Hunt Chevrolet Cruze racing at Zwartkops

The Williams Hunt Chevrolet Cruze racing at Zwartkops

The Williams Hunt Chevrolet Cruze racing at Zwartkops

 

The team did everything in their power to get the Cruze ready for the next practice round. A fuel pressure problem emerge during the later practice rounds fortunately the team managed to find the fault late Friday evening which was not ideal as they couldn’t test the car before qualifying on Saturday morning. Grant, the chief engineer made some suspension changes for qualifying but as Michael said they were “shooting in the dark” without any testing. Qualifying 7th, 8 tenths of a second behind pole, the team knew they had lots of work to get on the podium and any reasonable series points.

The Williams Hunt Chevrolet Cruze racing at Zwartkops

The Williams Hunt Chevrolet Cruze racing at Zwartkops

The Williams Hunt Chevrolet Cruze racing at Zwartkops

 

Michael had a flying start in the first race and was certainly showing the form the Williams Hunt Chevrolet Cruze had been demonstrating in previous series events. In no time Michael had gotten past three competitors and was lying fourth, a slight misjudgment resulted in the Cruze entering to fast into turn four and ended up running wide allowing four other competitors past. The Williams Hut Chevrolet Cruze rejoined in ninth position. Michael was able to make up one position before the end of the first race, finishing a disappointing eighth.

With the reverse order start of the second race the Williams Hunt Chevrolet Cruze was fortunate to be starting second. Michael again got off to a good start but going into turn two the Ford on Michaels inside took the turn a little to deep and three cars emerged out of the turn with the Williams Hunt Chevrolet Cruze sandwiched in the middle. The Ford went flying off the track and ended up completely destroyed in the barrier, fortunately no one was injured. The race was stopped while the wreck was removed. On restarting the Williams Hunt Chevrolet Cruze was given pole. Michael held his own for a few laps, unfortunately a Mini managed to get on his inside in turn 3 pushing Michael wide allowing two cars to get past. The Chevrolet Cruze eventually finished fourth due to under steer problems making it quite a struggle to drive.

The Williams Hunt Chevrolet Cruze racing at Zwartkops

The Williams Hunt Chevrolet Cruze racing at Zwartkops

The Williams Hunt Chevrolet Cruze racing at Zwartkops

 

Grant as usual made an incredible effort to get the car ready for the final race of the day. Michael had his now usual good start and was busy waging an incredible battle with a Ford for third when a stone went through the radiator. With the Williams Hunt Chevrolet Cruze overheating Michael had to stop to save the engine unfortunately not able to finish the last race.

The series now heads down to Durban after a 6 week break to the Top Gear Festival on the 15th and 16th of June. We hope to see you there.