Killarney – Fans of the Karate Kid movies will know the relationship between master and student, the search for the delicate balance between learning at speed and pushing too hard. These sentiments will be tested as the Engen Xtreme team head to Killarney for round two of the national Bridgestone Production Car Championship.
Multiple champion Michael Stephen (A1) will continue in his titledefence in Cape Town on Saturday, 29 March, with his young student, Simon Moss (A38), close on his heels, learning more about what it takes to compete in SA’s premier saloon car category with every grid start.
Stephen finds himself in second position in the Production Car championship after round one, having finished on the podium in each of the opening races while Moss is in a well-deserved fourth place. Both made a strong showing in their first outing for this season and are confident of another good performance when the Super Series comes to Killarney.
Going into the second round, Production Car leader Gennaro Bonafede is two points ahead of the defending champion however, this is unlikely to be an issue for Stephen. He has claimed three consecutive championships by concentrating on sustained consistency and this will again be the approach come the end of March when he does battle on a circuit which has been kind to his finishing performances over the years.
For Moss the results of round one show that he has both pace and ability to stay in the mix when the going gets tough. While round one provided its share of challenges for the newcomer to the Bridgestone Production Car series, it also provided Moss with valuable lessons and race experience on how to manage the vastly increased horse power and racing technology to that of what he was used to last year.
The second round of the championship will see Moss tackle the event with more confidence, eager to keep up with the pace of his teammate and mentor. With an already good start to the 2014 championship season, Moss will be aiming to earn more valuable points to finish the Cape Town leg having improved on his present fourth place overall.
Killarney can provide a rather unique combination of high speeds and fairly low grip in cool weather conditions; thus drivers have to keep their wits about them in order to carry sufficient pace through the corners to stay ahead of their rivals, while also staying on the track.
While Killarney is unlikely to provide any Mr Miyagi-style “wax on, wax off” moments, the teaching and learning is set to continue as the seasoned champion and his talented protégé go into action for the second time in what is shaping up to become a highly charged and exciting 2014 season.