Third Overall for Darren Lobb (Nissan 350Z) in EL
Tschops Sipuka and Leeroy Poulter qualified their Sasol Nissan Nissan 350Zs in first and third places respectively for the start of the first race at East London's historic former grand prix circuit on Saturday. It was a result that Nissan Motorsport had worked hard for and it gave the team hope for a good race result on the fastest circuit hosting a round of the Bridgestone SA Production Car Championship.
However, at the end of a dry but windy winter's day that threatened rain, Sipuka's spoils were restricted to just the three points he scored for pole position after he failed to finish either of the two races. Poulter didn't fare much better, scoring one point for his third place on the grid and another for eighth place in race two. He was struggling without a clutch, pulled off the circuit on lap four and also scored a DNF in race one.
Nissan pride was preserved by the Nissan Dealer Team 350Zs of Darren Lobb and Marco da Cunha, who were third and sixth overall for the day. Lobb, seventh (and last class A finisher) in race one, was on pole for race two (the top eight start in reverse order) and took full advantage to lead the 10-car field for 14 of the 15 laps. He was under pressure from Michael Stephen (Audi A4 quattro), winner of race one, from around lap 11 and finally gave up his lead to Stephen in the last corner of the 15th and last lap.
Da Cunha, fifth in race one, was spun out of second place behind his team-mate as he was about to start lap three and dropped back to finish seventh.