Stephen wraps up third title
Engen Audi driver Michael Stephen added yet another GTC title to his cabinet as he claimed his third championship win in as many years on Saturday.
Port Elizabeth’s Stephen capped off his season with two wins in the final round at Zwartkops Raceway.
Stephen had a comfortable lead in the GTC championship standings with another PE driver, Simon Moss, in second position going into the race.
A flawless start from both drivers saw them take instant control of race one.
Stephen left no room to endanger his lead and with victory, instantly claimed his third consecutive GTC title – which included a fastest lap of the race.
Moss followed closely in second position and extended his second place in the championship by another three points, to notch up an eight-point lead over BMW’s Gennaro Bonafede.
Moss went straight into battle and fought hard for third position in the opening lap of race two.
His main rival, Bonafede, left the track on the same lap, effectively ending his championship runner-up aspirations.
Stephen came from last position to lead race two in just six laps, with Moss coming home in fourth.
“This is a dream come true for my team and I,” Engen Audi team manager Terry Moss said.
“It’s an amazing feeling to finish the 2018 season with our signature 1-2 formation and taking the manufacturers title as well,” he said.
Having achieved his mission as driver and team engineer, Stephen said: “The hard work during the whole year has paid off! Very few people know how much effort we put in to achieve these results and this victory makes it all worth it.”
Meanwhile, Volkswagen Motorsport also had a day to remember as GTC 2 driver Keegan Masters wrapped up the championship with victory in race one, his 11th of the season and VW’s third consecutive championship in the category.
“It feels great to put the championship to bed with another win,” Masters said.
His partner, Adrian Wood, claimed his first GTC 2 victory with a lights-to-flag run which saw him finish in fifth position in his maiden season.
Daniel Rowe top-scored for the Volkswagen Jetta GTC team, ending his season with a hard-won podium place in the final race after claiming sixth in race one.