Engen Audi Xtreme team ready themselves for Kyalami
Tuesday, 31 March 2009
After what seemed to be a reasonable test day on Friday, in the second
instalment of the WesBank Super Series, the Engen Xtreme Audi team suffered
a number of mechanical glitches on race day which not only cost them vital
early season points but also did very little justice to their confidence
after sterling performances in PE earlier this month.
During the practice sessions with the new tyres, Michael showed positive
performances and was confident that he would qualify on pole on Saturday,
consistently being faster than Johan Fourie, while Shaun's car kept backing
the engine throttle valve, a problem eventually rectified by inserting
rubber spacers on both surfaces of the rear gearbox mounting.
However the worst was to yet come, during Saturday's qualification. On lap
one, first Shaun's car broke a throttle pedal, which jammed revving into the
limiter while he kept slipping the clutch to try and finish the lap. This
led to total clutch and pressure plate failure. The team managed to rectify
the problem allowing him to compete, starting last in Race 1, finishing 5th
right on the tail of the other two Audis. Michael on the other hand suffered
a pressure plate failure in qualifying, probably due over extensive DYNO
testing, causing severe damage to flywheel, gearbox and electronics.
Fortunately, the team recovered, putting the car on the grid for the first
race, but a collision with the BMW of Wolk resulting in the right rear wheel
to be bent and towing out by 20mm. Race two was slightly better for Shaun
who finished 3rd, while Michael finished in 7th spot after he lost power as
a result of the original pressure plate blow up.
Kyalami, once again has lived up to infamous reputation of being the track
in SA that will undoubtedly separate the men from the boys. After a
disappointing weekend the team will now be gearing up toward a race fest at
Killarney in May, where they will want to set the record straight at a track
that has been favourable or the team.