Engen Extreme team ensure for a consistent performance in EL

Monday, 24 August 2009

The Engen Xtreme team arrived at the East London Grand Prix Circuit at the weekend positive that they would be able to repeat their performance of last year by finishing top of the pack on the day. With practice on Friday having gone well, the team was positive that the work and setup on the cars would do the job on race day.

In Heat 1 off the line the Audi's were quick to make their way into the top five with Leeroy Poulter in his Nissan 350Z taking an early lead. The pack behind him where involved in a whole lot of bumping and nudging all wanting to gain an advantageous placing in the pack. Engen Xtreme driver, Michael Stephens was no different getting himself involved in a heated tussle with rival Anthony Taylor in the BMW for second and third place. This proved to be great action especially through the fast bends of Cocabana and Complex. Hot on their heals was other Engen Xtreme driver Shaun Watson Smith who was determined to have a better outing than has been the case since the beginning of the season. Proud of a solid performance Engen Xtreme drivers Michael Stephens was eventually beaten out by Taylor to claim 3rd while teammate Shaun Watson-Smith finished 4th.

In Heat 2, with the reverse grid implemented the Xtreme Audi's who were near the middle to back of the pack, with Michael and Shaun quickly moving up the pack taking up fourth and fifth place respectively. This time Marco Da Cunha in his 350Z assumed the top spot with those behind him providing lots of action, with more nudging going on as the field barrelled into the fast sweeping corners. Danie Olivier's Subaru seemed to be a target for everyone, being bumped by almost every driver in their quest to pass him to secure a top spot. Michael in fourth place was involved in a heated bumper to bumper tussle with Johan Fourie, while Shaun in 5th place suffered engine mapping failure resulting in him to lose this place, eventually trailing the field in last place. The tussle up front between the front pack delivered riveting action for spectators who certainly could not complain about the racing being mediocre on the day. Michael managed to hold onto his 4th place securing a favourable overall placing on the day.

All in all Michael finished 2nd overall, with teammate Shaun, having yet another dismal day, finishing in 9th place. Michael's performance will certainly give his title hopes a major boost as the team return to Mandela Bay in preparation for the next race meet on 27 June at Kyalami.