Engen Xtreme Team experiences highs and lows at Kyalami

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Miguel Pasqualli in his new look Engen Xtreme Polo

Michael Stephen (A3 - front) and Tschops Sipuka (A4)
With an exciting start to the first race meeting on the WesBank Super Series calendar, Engen launched its new ‘one team, one look’ Xtreme cars at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit on Thursday 3 March, 2011. The new Audi S4’s were unfortunately not race ready for the opener of the 2011 season due technical pre-race preparation challenges, and resulted in the Production Car Audi drivers having to race in their existing race engineering.

A disappointing start to the season saw both Bridgestone Production Audi drivers Tschops Sipuka and Michael Stephen finish heat one in 5th and 6th place respectively. Starting on pole for heat two, Stephen dominated for the first two laps with Groenewald passing him midway through the heat. Despite a brave and spirited challenge in an obviously underpowered car, Stephen managed to hold onto a 2nd place finish. Sipuka raced aggressively and moved into 3rd position at the start of the heat but sadly, due to a fuel pump problems could not finish the race.

Overall for the day, Stephen finished in 6th position while Sipuka completed the day in 7th. Although not the desired start to the season, the Engen Xtreme Team still managed to accumulate valuable points with Stephen 13 points behind championship leader, Hennie Groenewald.

The VW Cup Polo drivers, Miguel Pasqualli and Kosie Weyers saw experienced challenging moments throughout the race day, struggling to gain position on his opponents, Pasqualli finished race one in a very disappointing 11th place. Race two saw Pasqualli much more determined to move through the field and finish in a more acceptable 8th place. Weyers started the season with a bang and finished the opening race of the season with a 3rd place podium finish. The second heat dealt a cruel blow with an unfortunate engine failure, pushing Kosie back to 18th. On the overall standing for the day, the Xtreme Polo team finished off with Pasqualli in 3rd place in the Masters Category and Weyers in 15th place.

Engen Xtreme race team principal, Terry Moss commented: ‘Kyalami was certainly a day of mixed fortunes, first time in a long time that our cars crashed out as a result of race incidents, but happy that our naturally aspirated older A4 cars proved to be stiff opposition for the newer Turbo BMW’s. Kosie was impressive in the new VW Polo Cup format and will certainly be a force to be reckoned with during the 2011 season.

The team now prepares for the next race meeting which takes place a Killarney on 2 April 2011, where the public can look forward to new Audi S4’s in action.

2011 will see Engen continue their support for the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and specifically, it’s world renowned Burns Unit. The coming season will see a continuance of the ‘Racing for Red’ campaign where R136 is donated for every point the drivers score during the race season. After the last meeting at Kyalami the drivers accumulated 50 points amounting to R6 800, 00.

For high res images: http://tracksidepics.co.za/EngenXtremeKya050311.htm

Engen Xtreme Team Standings/ Points

Bridgestone Production Engen VW Cup
Michael Stephen - 6th place/ 11 points Kosie Weyers- 5th place/ 12 points
Tschops Sipuka - 7th place/ 8 points Miguel Pasqualli - 3rd place (Masters)/ 19 points