FINAL EVENT TO SETTLE ABSA OFF ROAD CHAMPIONSHIP ISSUES The final event of this year's Absa Off Road Championship, the Ford Carnival City 400 on November 17 and 18, will settle some outstanding Production Vehicle and Special Vehicle championship...
FINAL EVENT TO SETTLE ABSA OFF ROAD CHAMPIONSHIP ISSUES
The final event of this year's Absa Off Road Championship, the Ford Carnival City 400 on November 17 and 18, will settle some outstanding Production Vehicle and Special Vehicle championship issues.
Where the Production Vehicles are concerned most of the title issues were settled on the recent Toyota Dealer 400. But some important business remains unfinished, and that includes the prestige South African Manufacturers Championship where Toyota and Nissan are traditionally at each other's throats.
A late flurry saw Nissan outscore Toyota on the Toyota Dealer 400, and going into the Ford Carnival City 400 event Toyota have a narrow 20-point lead. It is a precious advantage but there will be an enormous amount of pressure on Toyota crews throughout the various classes.
While the Production Vehicle overall title has been settled in favour of the Proudly South African Nissan Navara pair of Hannes Grobler and Francois Jordaan, they are tied in the Super Production Class with the factory works crew of Neil Woolridge and Kenny Skjoldhammer. Both teams have 104 points but the Ford pair have a 100 percent finish record and will be forced to drop their lowest score -- and this gives the advantage to Grobler/Jordaan.
The Class D and Class E championships were also settled on the Toyota Dealer 400. Toyota pair Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst, in the Tyco Trucks Toyota Hilux and Manfred Schroder and Ward Huxtable, in the factory Ford Racing Ranger, have dominated their respective classes throughout the season and clinched Classes D and E.
On the Special Vehicle front the Class A results of the Toyota Dealer 400 are still under appeal. Whether or not Motorite BAT pair Alfie Cox and Hennie Ter Stege are given the win ahead of Gary Bertholdt/Henry Kirstein (Atlas Copco Porter) is irrelevant.
Neither Cox nor Ter Steege can be caught in the overall or class championships. But there are championship issues still outstanding in Class B and in Class S.
A late run has lifted veterans Ernest Corbett and Warwick Goosen, in the Century Property Development BAT into pole position in Class B where any one of four crews could take the title. Corbett and Goosen have what could be a decisive 11-point lead over Jan and Hendrik Kraaij, in the Keymax BAT.
But only five points separate the Kraaij father and son team and brothers Johan/Etienne Bezuidenhout (Adenco BAT) and John Thompson/Clinton McNamara in the Zarco. Fireworks can be expected on the Ford Carnival City 400 event!
Down in Class S reigning drivers champion Richard Schilling has a small mountain to climb while his co-driver, Chris Davies, looks set to retain his title. Schilling is nine points adrift of Nic Goslar, in the Kopanong Hotel Superteam Raceco and a win on the final event is a must for him.
Davies has a comfortable 37-point lead over Richard Carolin, who will partner Goslar, and looks home and dry. However, only three points separated Carolin, Craig Doubtfire, who partners Archie Rutherford in the Nashua Mobile Raceco, and Peter van Vuuren who sits alongside Gary Gillingham in the Shell Raceco.
The Ford Carnival City 400 will start on November 17 with a 70-kilometre prologue. The race proper on November 18 will be run over two loops of around 190 kilometres with the start and finish at the Carnival City complex.