Stephen, Moss consistent on tricky track

POINTS MACHINE: Michael Stephen in his Engen Xtreme Audi S4 quattro brought home valuable points after the weekend's racing in East London
POINTS MACHINE: Michael Stephen in his Engen Xtreme Audi S4 quattro brought home valuable points after the weekend’s racing in East London

EAST London race track has a fearsome reputation of being a quick circuit and many a talented driver has come to grief on it.

But not so for the Engen Xtreme Audi S4 quattro racers, who displayed a model of efficiency and consistency.

Round four of the Bridgestone Production Car Championship saw Port Elizabeth’s Michael Stephen (A1) and Simon Moss (A38) show strong pace and ensured they brought home valuable points from the race day.

Stephen set the pace for the team, qualifying in third place on a track that favoured the straight line speed of his rivals.

He then turned that third-fastest time into a third place finish in race one and two to take home third place overall for the day. “We knew our rivals would be fast in a straight line here and I think qualifying could have gone a little better,” says Stephen.

“With the way things worked out, it would have been irrelevant and with the safety car in race one, I didn’t have enough time to attack and the red flag in race two also ended the race early.

“I did take some risks, all calculated, and I was quite prepared to back off if the risk proved too great versus the reward.”

For Moss, the East London race meeting saw him produce his best overall race day result in the championship so far.

He made good use of the opportunity to follow the defending champion and slotted into a comfortable fourth place for the weekend.

With a fifth in qualifying, a fourth place result in each of the two races and a fourth place overall, Moss has achieved a new level in the series and starts the second half of the season on a strong footing.

“In race one I slotted in behind Michael to finish fourth,” said Moss. “I tried the same thing in race two and stayed with Mike for a while, but then I broke the slipstream and they got away from me. I just drove hard to try and keep up, getting another fourth place finish to make it a really good weekend.”

The Engen Xtreme racers now prepare for their outing at Phakisa Freeway on Saturday, August 2, when round five of the season will see Stephen and Moss tackling a driver favourite on the national calendar. – Bobby Cheetham

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