PRETORIA, South Africa —Team Ford Racing turned on the heat at Zwartkops Raceway (Pretoria West), claiming wins in all three races and extending their lead in Class T of the Bridgestone Production Car Championship over the weekend.
Although not topping the timesheets, the team was well on the pace during Friday’s practice sessions. Saturday’s qualifying saw Shaun Duminy secure second place on the grid with Gary Formato in third. Andrea Bate was further back in sixth.
Formato got a good run from the very beginning, immediately taking up second place from Duminy. He proceeded to challenge for the lead and was up to first position by the end of the first lap. Duminy followed in second and the BP / Castrol Ford Focus ST duo held this formation across the finish line while Bate finished seventh.
The second race began with the top four finishers being inverted on the grid. This placed Duminy third and Formato fourth. It took Formato just two laps to take the race lead. After a difficult start, Duminy dropped down to fifth place. He drove with heart and determination and by the fifth lap he had worked his way up to second, ensuring another ‘top two’ finish for Team Ford Racing.
The two-hour endurance race was filled with excitement, but the team was well aware of the double points which were at stake. Based on the lap times in race one, Formato started on pole position with Duminy third. Duminy was the first to pit, handing the reigns over to Graham Donker on lap 23. Donker made an unscheduled stop 12 laps later with a puncture and Duminy returned to the driver’s seat.
In the meantime, things were running smoothly for Formato. He handed the driving responsibilities over to Garth Waberski on lap 26. Waberski pitted 20 laps later, handing the Ford back to Formato for the remainder of the race. Formato made one more fuel stop before taking the team to another victory.
Duminy completed another 42 laps before making his final pit stop. Donker took the Ford across the finish line in fourth position.
Naomi Schiff started the endurance race in the third BP / Castrol Ford Focus ST, completing ten laps before retiring with a damaged gearbox.
Formato now leads the championship by 20 points going into the final round of the WesBank Super Series at Zwartkops on November 26.