NISSAN CREW DOMINATE AFRICAN HERITAGE CROSS COUNTRY RALLY
Fish River Sun -- Norwegian driver Ivar Tollefsen and British navigator Quin Evans, in a factory Nissan Navara, today tightened their hold on the African Heritage Cross Country Rally in the Eastern Cape.
At the end of day three of the race, the second round of the FIA Cross Country World Cup, the Nissan crew were just over 30 minutes ahead of their nearest challengers. The African Heritage Cross Country is the only motorsport event in South Africa this year counting towards a world series.
Tollefsen and Evans, racing a Navara entered by Nissan SA, have dominated from day one. They took complete control over the opening two days, but had their wings clipped today when they finished four seconds behind the X-Raid BMW X3 in the hands of Paulo Nobre, of Brazil, and Portuguese co-driver Felipe Palmeiro.
Third overall are Class T2 leaders Riccardo Garosci and Rudy Briani, of Italy, in the rally Art Mitsubishi Pajero. They are more than an hour behind the BMW crew, but look certain to win the class after the demise of Russians Mikhael Naryshkin and Artem Naslednikov in a Nissan Patrol.
"We made a couple of mistakes today," said Tollefsen, "but we are fortunate in that it has not hurt us.
"With a nice lead we can look after the car over the final leg tomorrow."
The overseas crews were joined today by a number of South African teams running at the back of the field on an invitation basis. The South African crews are not eligible to score points but are competing for trophies.
David and Gary White, in the Ruwacon BAT, were leading the Special Vehicle category with Kobus van Tonder and Riaan Guelpa at the front of the Production vehicle field in the Unifreight Ford Ranger running in the Super Production Class. Second were Ramon Bezuidenhout and Stefan Lock in a Toyota Hilux running to Class D specifications.
The crews have so far travelled around 1 100 kilometres with tomorrow's final section to be run over 250 kilometres. The final section starts at the Fish River Sun and finishes in Bisho.