Gennaro Bonafede gave his many Cape Town fans something to smile about when he won the 14-lap Bridgestone Production Car feature race in his class A Ferodo Audi A4 at Killarney on Saturday. It was his second feature race win since he stepped up to the class A Audi and it came at a circuit with strong connections to the Bonafede family.
“Killarney is almost like a home circuit for me and to win the main race here was very special. We had a good race car all weekend and today's results make up for the disappointments I have experienced in recent visits to Cape Town.”
The 22-year-old from Johannesburg qualified fourth on Saturday morning for the first of the two seven-lap sprint races, just eight tenths of a second off the pole position time of Johan Fourie (BMW). He finished fourth in the first race and was third in the second, but was penalised 30 seconds for passing under a yellow flag and dropped to eighth.
Thanks to claiming the fastest lap in race two he started the feature race from pole position and was not headed throughout an exciting race, finishing ahead of defending champion Michael Stephen and Tschops Sipuka to give Audi a memorable 1-2-3.
The second round of the Engen Volkswagen Championship provided the traditional door handle-to-door handle racing that characterises this popular one--make series. Once again Ferodo Racing's young guns gave a good account of themselves in only their second appearance in their VW Polos.
Ernie van der Walt from Hoopstad and Daniel Rowe from Port Elizabeth, both aged 19, qualified 14th and 16th respectively in a closely-contested session that saw the top 16 cars covered by a single second.
Racing in the middle of the pack, where the chances of contact with another competitor are the highest, a cautious Van der Walt kept out of trouble in the opening eight-lapper and finished 17th.
A fired up Rowe was lapping not far off the pace of the leaders and had moved up to 14th on lap five when he was knocked off the circuit at the end of the long back straight and fell back to 21st at the finish.
He responded magnificently in the second race to put in his best performance so far this year, crossing the finish line after 10 laps in seventh place. His best lap was just half a second off the fastest lap of the race.
Van der Walt, still getting to grips with his first taste of front- wheel drive car racing after two seasons in Formula Volkswagen single seaters, improved on his first race result to finish 12th and was happy to collect a 10th overall for the day in the most closely-matched category of racing on the programme.
“Gennaro once again showed why he is one of the top young drivers in the country,” said Ronnie Erasmus, motorsport manager of Federal-Mogul, manufacturers of Ferodo brake pads. “Ernie and Daniel both gave a good account of themselves and continue to make good progress as they gain in
confidence in their first season of Engen VW Cup racing.”
STORY COURTESY OF PETER BURROUGHES COMMUNICATIONS