Home grown racer Stephen takes 1st overall at Engen National Race Day

Thursday, 11 August 2011

After a wet start to the weekend, Port Elizabeth saw some on the edge action at the 7th Engen National Race Day staged at Aldo Scribante Raceway. With all four drivers of the Engen Xtreme race team experiencing highs and lows during an action packed weekend, the Audi S4 driver, Michael Stephen’s race pedigree saw the home grown racer take top honours in the Bridgestone Production Car category with fellow team mate Tschops Sipuka also stepping onto the overall race day podium standings in 3rd place.

Race one kicked off to a rough start with Xtreme Audi drivers, Stephen (A3) and Sipuka (A4) fighting a tough race battle with Johan Fourie (A14 – Indy Oil Audi) and Anthony Taylor (A1 -Afrox BMW) and which resulted in a 3rd and 4th place finish for the Engen racers. After eight laps of hard fought competition Fourie finished in 1stwith Taylor in a close 2nd place. Race two again saw Fourie cross the line in1stplace, this time followed by Stephen in close pursuit and with Sipuka again taking a 3rd place.

An exciting race three saw Stephen and Sipuka step up the pace in their determination for top honours. Pacing Fourie and Taylor and the two Engen Xtreme drivers pushed with a half a lap to go. With three corners to go the Afrox BMW of Taylor and the Indy Oil Audi of Fourie had a coming together which saw them leave the track momentarily, This smallest of opportunity was snapped up by the chasing duo of Stephen and Sipuka who shot through to take 1st and 2nd place.
The fourth race of the day saw Fourie again take victory followed by Stephen and Sipuka in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Overall, and an end to a very exciting Bridgestone Production Car race day, Stephen took a hard earned 1stfor the day and only when race finish times were taken into account which saw him beat Fourie by hundredths of a second. Sipuka did himself proud to come in 3rdplace making it a clean sweep for the Audi racing brand.

On the VW Polo Cup front, Engen Xtreme Polo drivers Kosie Weyers and Miguel Pasqualli got off to a disappointing start in a very competitive and incident filled race. With a full field of determined young racers on the Eastern Cape circuit no inch was given which saw side mirrors and bumpers fall by the way as the race unfolded and finally resulted in Weyers being taken out with DNF result and Pasqualli limping in 21st position.

Race two saw Capetonian driver, Weyers focussed and determined to avenge his earlier upset and fought back and kept Dewald Brummer at bay throughout the heat, resulting in a very well deserved 3rd place. Pasqualli’s day also improved as he overcame his earlier race incident to finish in 6th place.

The team work hard to up the points on the championship log and whilst the reward came through for the Audi drivers, the Xtreme Polo Cup team were not as fortunate and will have to wait for their next meeting in East London on 3 September 2011.

Engen continue their support for the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and specifically it’s world renowned Burns Unit. Contributing R140 for every championship point the Xtreme race team score during the season, the present fundraising drive after the Aldo Scribante race stands at R54 040.00 (386 points).

Engen Xtreme Team Standings/ Points
Bridgestone Production Engen VW Cup
Michael Stephen – 2nd place/ 121 points Kosie Weyers- 2nd place/ 96 points
Tschops Sipuka – 6th place/ 84 points Miguel Pasqualli – 4th Masters/ 85 points