18 June, 2019, Port Elizabeth. Round 4 of the Global Touring Car Championship (GTC) which took place at the home of the All Power Audi Team, turned out to be a tooth and nail battle for championship leader, Simon Moss. As much as he dominated the practice day, he had to fight hard to maintain his championship lead against the competition.
Moss was in a class of his own on Friday (14th June), when he was the fastest in all three practice sessions in his Audi racing vehicle. He was the only one to break the 1:01 barrier, and did so in each and every session of the day. Audi team mate, Tschops Sipuka’s day was all about strategy and stamina. He did a full race distance in the opening session and fine-tuned his race car for the race day ahead.
For Moss, the real drama unfolded in the formation lap of the opening race. To everyone’s surprise, he overtook the safety car and returned to the pit land with a fuel pump issue. A quick intervention by the team allowed him to return back to the race and Moss was on fire for the remaining nine laps. In his fight to finish the race he set the fastest lap and still secured six valuable points for the championship. Sipuka set his own pace during the first race of the day and managed to bring home his All Power Audi in fifth position.
The reversed grid second race offered Moss a comeback advantage for his disastrous opening race when he was placed on pole position. Sipuka had his back with his third spot on the grid. Moss didn’t need his rear view mirrors when the lights turned green and took an instant lead ahead of Wolk and Sipuka. Moss gradually extended his lead, with his championship aspirations clearly on his mind. His supremacy was shown once more when he set the fastest lap of the weekend in his Audi S3 in the seventh lap of the race. Sipuka, in the meantime, was fighting a battle of his own but was pushed off the track in the opening stage of the race, instantly ending his chance of a podium finish. While Sipuka had to retire from the race, Moss took the victory in style, ahead of the ecstatic home supporters.
All Power Audi team owner, Terry Moss, obviously had mixed feelings on the turn of events. “We are very happy with Simon’s result in the second race and that he managed to maintain his lead in the championship. It was just unfortunate for Simon’s troubles in the opening race, but that’s part of the game. It was very sad to see Tschops retire from the race while he was on his way to a podium position. All in all, it was a good weekend for the All Power Audi team and we are confident to continue our winning streak for the rest of the season.”
The next race will take place on Saturday, 27 July at Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria.