Sunday, 12 September 2010


Both Ferodo young drivers Gennaro Bonafede and Devin Robertson scored podium finishes in their respective categories at the sixth round of the WesBank Super Series at Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria on Saturday.
Bonafede (Ferodo VW Golf GTi) was the class T winner in the second of the two eight-lap Bridgestone Production Car sprint races after finishing
sixth in race one and starting race two from pole position as a result of the inverted grid.  He was fourth in the 15-lap feature race and ended the day fourth overall.
Robertson (Ferodo VW Polo) was third overall for the day in the Engen Volkswagen Cup competition after finishing second and third in the two 10-lap races. 
Bonafede had qualified second for the first of the sprint races, but his race was almost immediately compromised when he was punted off the circuit on the opening lap.  He suffered a malfunctioning plug sensor as a result and was forced to nurse the Ferodo Golf home to finish sixth in class.  With just 10 minutes between the first two races and no servicing allowed, the 19-year-old university student from Dainfern was able to rectify the problem and take full advantage of his pole position on the grid.
He was never headed throughout the eight laps and took the chequered flag for his second win in his debut season in Bridgestone Production Cars.
A poor start in the feature race saw him drop several places from his third place on the grid and then he dropped even further back after being knocked off the circuit in front of the Zwartkops clubhouse.  He battled his way back through the field and took advantage of several retirements to finally finish fourth in the race and fourth overall for the day.
“I was caught napping at the start and was playing catch-up after that.  Under the circumstances I was happy with fourth and, after our problem in race one, fourth overall for the day was about as good as it could be,” said Bonafede.
He retains his third place in the championship with 147 points behind Graeme Nathan (181 points), but is now just four points behind defending champion Gary Formato (151).      
It was again a case of the lucky draw for the top six grid positions not working in Robertson’s favour.  After posting the second-best lap time in qualifying behind Kosie Weyers and ahead of chief championship rival Matthew Hodges, the 18-year-old Alberton matric pupil found himself in fifth place on the grid for both races.
While Weyers ran away with the first race from the front row of the grid, Robertson made up two places on the first of the 10 laps and chased down Kyle Barnes before passing him for second place at half distance.  He then pulled away from the rest of the field, but Weyers was long gone and crossed the finish line over two seconds in front, with Barnes trailing Robertson by over three seconds.  Hodges was fourth.
Robertson again made a good start in race two and was up to third by lap two and pressuring Barnes for second place.  While Hodges made the most of his pole position and pulled away from the rest of the field, Morgan, Robertson and Weyers disputed the remaining podium positions.
On lap six Robertson was sizing up Morgan when Weyers got the jump on both of them and went into second place, with the three cars crossing the start/finish line covered by just three tenths of a second.  Robertson passed Morgan on lap nine, but was unable to catch Weyers and settled for third at the finish.
The Ferodo driver remains second in the championship, but Hodges has now opened the gap to 34 points with three rounds remaining.
The next round is at Killarney in Cape Town on October 2.


No comments: