The Port Elizabeth-based Engen Xtreme / Terry Moss Racing team claimed the national Sasol GTC Africa title and the GTC Manufacturer's title for Audi on Saturday at Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria. Michael Stephen mounted a successful title defense this season to win a second consecutive championship and Simon Moss put in a monster effort, winning overall on the final race day and taking third place in the championship.
In total, the Engen Xtreme team achieve a championship victory, a Manufacturer's title, an overall race day win, two race victories, first and third overall for the day and a one-two race finish in race two.
“This has been another decisive championship for the team” says Terry Moss Racing team principal Terry Moss. “Michael is a master at race strategy and knows how to turn things to his favour. He backs this with technical skill and diligence that delivers results.”
“For Simon to get as close to the second position finish for the championship as he did – just three points back – shows just how much work he has put in this season. An overall race day victory, in the treacherously slippery and wet conditions we had at Zwartkops, is proof of the Engen Xtreme team dominance in the GTC championship.”
The newly crowned GTC champion was enthusiastic about the team's results, with focus on the bigger picture at play on the day in race one – and with that secured, turning the sights on a big finish to mark the achievements of an excellent season.
“In race one I was all about the championship. I avoided risk to make sure the championship was signed, sealed and delivered by the chequered flag and then we pushed a bit in race two for that one-two podium to put a big finish on the year,” says Stephen. “Another championship title, the Manufacturer's title, third place in the championship, a one-two finish in race two, two race victories and then first and third overall for the day – that kind of result is an achievement the entire team can be proud of.”
When it comes to making a statement at the end of the season, it could hardly have been done in greater style than that of Moss at Zwartkops on Saturday. Winning both races on the day with a masterful performance in the very wet weather conditions, saw him come within just three points of beating Bonafede but also stamping his authority on the third-place finish for the season.
Moss went into the championship finale trailing second-place Gennaro Bonafede by 91 points. At the end of the two races, the points deficit was down to three points.
“I'm very happy with the results today,” says Moss. “I knew I had pace in the dry conditions from qualifying, but going into race one with the changed conditions no-one really knew what to expect. I just put my head down and went for it.”
“This was a great weekend, the fight for the championship position between Gennaro and I went right down to the wire. I arrived here with a deficit of 91 points and got to reel in Gennaro's BMW to finish just three points behind him,” says Moss. “The Engen Xtreme team worked hard this year and I'm exceptionally proud of all the results we have achieved again this season.”
The Engen Xtreme team now goes into off-season maintenance and a well-deserved break before starting their preparations to tackle the 2018 season for another nail-biting championship.