Bankfin Off-Road Championship rescored

Dual interpretation of the provisions in the Motorsport South Africa 2002 Handbook has led to the Bankfin Off-Road Championship -- with two events remaining -- being rescored.  The misinterpretation was relative to the minimum number of ...

Dual interpretation of the provisions in the Motorsport South Africa 2002 Handbook has led to the Bankfin Off-Road Championship -- with two events remaining -- being rescored. 

The misinterpretation was relative to the minimum number of starters needed in various classes -- six in the case of the Bankfin Off Road Championship - for competitors to score class championship points. The revised scoring mainly affects the Special Vehicle category and has resulted in a number of changes in overall and class championship standings.

Revised scoring reflects the compulsory one event drop that all competitors must make at the end of the season. With two events remaining, however, the system could lead to a little more drama.

Going into the Queen Motor Spares Tarka 400 on November 1 and 2 Eastern Cape pair Greg Harvey and Boy Stone in the Castrol Queen Motor Spares Jimco are top of the overall standings in the Special Vehicle category. The consistent Harvey and Stone have a slender five point lead over KwaZulu-Natal crew Marcus Taylor and Marc de Chalain (Truck Time JRE) in both the drivers and co-drivers standings.

Third in the drivers standings is veteran Giel Nel (Luk Africa Truggy) who is 20 points adrift of Taylor. Fourth is Greg Daus (Nashua Mobile Racing Raceco) who is one of those hit by the revised scoring, with Billy Bond (Prolong Raceco) in fifth place.

Daus has dominated Class S this season, but on two events there were insufficient starters in Class S for competitors to score class points. This drops Daus down the overall table and leaves him with some work to do over the final two events.

Third in the overall co-drivers championship is Anton Lombard, who sits alongside Bond, with Gerhard du Plessis (Mobil Jimco) and Geoff Minnitt from the O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam fourth and fifth. Minnitt has this season co-driven with both Richard Carolin in Class S and John Weir-Smith in Class A.

On the Class front Harvey and Stone have clear leads in the Class A drivers and co-drivers championships. Taylor is also comfortably ahead of reigning champion Nel in the Class B drivers championship, while de Chalain is already assured of the co-drivers title.

The Class S situation sees Daus 13 points ahead of Bond among the drivers. Lombard has a seven point lead over Trevor Ormerod in the co-drivers standings, and the category is set for a close finish over the final two events.

A couple of the closest battles in the championship sponsored by Bankfin, the specialist vehicle finance division of ABSA Bank, are being fought out in the Production Vehicle category -- and none is tighter than that going on in the overall drivers and co-drivers championships. Former champions Neil Woolridge and Kenny Skjoldhammer (Ford Racing Ranger -- Class T) are locked together with Class D pair Duncan Vos and Mike Griffith in the factory Nissan Hardbody, with third placed Piet Haasbroek/Christo Bosch (Castrol Toyota Land Cruiser) 23 points adrift in third place.

Although they have not won an event this season Woolridge and Skjoldhammer, via four seconds and a third, lead the Class T Super Truck drivers and co-drivers championships. They are nine points clear of two-time winners Hannes Grobler and Richard Leeke (Nissan Hardbody), with Apie Reyneke and Robin Houghton (Team Castrol Toyota Land Cruiser) edging out three-time winners Giniel de Villiers and Francois Jordaan, in the second works Nissan, in the battle for fourth and fifth.

Vos and Griffiths are seven points clear of Haasbroek and Bosch in Class D, but Mark Corbett/Juan Mohr (Century Property Developments Isuzu) and brothers Henri and Maurice Zermatten (Playstation Mitsubishi Pajero) are not yet out of the picture. Corbett and Mohr are only nine points behind the Toyota pair with the Zermattens one point behind them -- and Class D is going to be a dogfight to the end.

Matters are also very tight in Class E where just one point separates reigning champions Manfred Schroder and Jack Peckham (Ford Racing Ranger) and the father and son pair of Jaap and Hugo de Bruyn in a Toyota Hilux. The factory Ford pair have been unable to shake off the tenacious de Bruyn combination all season and, as matters stand, there is only one point between the two crews.

"The anomalies in the scoring system were unfortunate and, in the interests of all competitors, the championship had to be rescored," said MSA Off-Road Car Racing Commission president Piet Swanepoel. "As was expected at the start of the season, however, we have a number of championship issues -- in both the Special and Production Vehicle categories -- that are again going to go down to the very last event.

"That in itself is a healthy situation, and we can look forward to some exciting racing over the final two events."

-msa-

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Giniel de Villiers , Mark Corbett , Duncan Vos