Home-town advantage for Engen Xtreme Team

2015-06-03 06:00
The Engen Xtreme Team will have a home-town advantage at Scribante. PHOTO: PAUL BEDFORD

The Engen Xtreme Team will have a home-town advantage at Scribante. PHOTO: PAUL BEDFORD

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THE Engen Xtreme Team will be determined to take advantage of their intricate knowledge of their home circuit in the third round of the National Production Car Championship at Aldo Scribante Raceway in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, June 13.

For Engen Xtreme Team driver, Michael Stephen, the Scribante round offers an opportunity to gain the two points he needs to move from second place in the championship to lead the series overall.

Stephen, driving his Engen Xtreme Audi S4 Quattro, has already racked up two race victories in the six races held during the two completed rounds of the 2015 season – at Zwartkops and Killarney.

The recently sealed racing surface of Scribante is expected to play a role in the outcome of the event, on a circuit that already poses challenges for competitors, being short and narrow and offering few overtaking opportunities.

These challenges put a great deal of pressure on competitors to produce good qualifying times in the hope of starting at the front of the grid and leaving the problem of overtaking to their rivals.

The sealing of the racing surface has seen local competitors provide mixed reports. For some it appears to provide better traction and braking, while for others it appears exactly the opposite, with some racers battling understeer and reduced braking.

Clearly this is going to be a factor come race day. Answers will only be available once the practice sessions start, with race strategies formed thereafter.

For Stephen’s teammate, Simon Moss (38), the Scribante round is an opportunity to compete in front of his home crowd and climb the points ladder.

Moss needs just two points to be among the top five in the series and racing on his home circuit should provide the advantage he needs to make that happen.

Qualifying sessions this season have seen Moss produce times very close to those of his teammate, which has created an opportunity for him to place well on the starting grid.

A good grid position this time and a clean race will surely boost his chances of producing podium results on home soil.

With three races awaiting the Engen Xtreme Team in Port Elizabeth, there are three opportunities for the pair of Engen Xtreme Audi S4 Quattros to achieve podium results – in an action-packed racing series that has seen nothing but extremely close and competitive racing already this season.

Port Elizabeth motorsport fans can look forward to cheering on their home-town heroes in the first of two Eastern Cape rounds of the National Production Car Championship, with a second event taking place in East London on Saturday, July 11

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