Audi holds on to 2019 GTC Championship lead | Audi SA
Audi holds on to 2019 GTC Championship lead
Pole position, race one win and fastest lap of the weekend for Simon Moss Simon Moss leaves as championship leader Tschops Sipuka impresses with resilient driving performance at Zwartkops
08 April, 2019, Pretoria. Round 2 of the Global Touring Cars Africa Championship (GTC) brought the Audi team back into enemy territory at Zwartkops Raceway for the first time in 2019. After a dominating display by Simon Moss at the opening round of the season four weeks earlier, the competition prepared to defend their home soil. Although, when the dust settled, Simon Moss left the track with a pole position, a race win and a fastest lap, all the while maintaining his championship lead.
On the morning of Friday 5 April at the practice session, the Audi team appeared for the first time in a new colour scheme from their title sponsor, All Power, and both black and yellow Audi S3's were baptized with torrential rain in the opening sessions. With the possibility of rain throughout the weekend, Simon Moss and Tschops Sipuka maximized their track time without taking excessive risks. Tschops impressed the team by consistently improving his lap times and finding the edge of his GTC Audi in the most difficult conditions.
For the first time, the sun appeared on Saturday (6 April) morning ahead of qualifying, and with some additional overnight work by the Audi team, it was back to business. Simon confidently took his second consecutive pole position of the season, while Tschops surprised the field by taking a credible second row, third spot on the grid. The extra hard work by the Audi team had paid off and all eyes were on the first race of the day.
GTC Championship and team leader, Simon Moss, utilized his pole position to the max and took an instant lead when the lights turned green. Tschops, on the other hand, was caught out by two competitors but completed his opening lap in fourth. The positions of the Audi duo that remained until the finish flag dropped twelve laps later. Simon built up an impressive 4,5 second lead, while Tschops managed to hold off a list of seasoned GTC drivers. With his third win of the season, Simon held on to his unbeaten status of the season.
The reversed grid second race always poses a challenge and risk for the leaders of the pack - in this case the Audi Team. Simon Moss, starting from the back of the field wanted to repeat his Dezzi Raceway spectacle - his mission was to win from the back of the grid. However, in the opening lap he had an encounter with Daniel Rowe (VW Motorsport), in which he damaged his GTC Audi and had to retire. Tschops stayed clear of all the carnage, and gained four positions during the 12 lap race. He scored another fourth position, giving him an equal position in the overall standings.
The next race of the 2019 Global Touring Cars Africa Championship will take place on 11 May at the Killarney International Raceway in Cape Town.