Carnival: Mixed fortunes for O'Hagan's Superteam

Rookie crew Nic Goslar and Glen Steyn were the toast of the O'Hagan's / Kopanong Hotel Superteam after the Carnival City Casino 400, the final event of the Bankfin Off-Road Championship, on the East Rand over the weekend. Goslar and Steyn, in...

Rookie crew Nic Goslar and Glen Steyn were the toast of the O'Hagan's / Kopanong Hotel Superteam after the Carnival City Casino 400, the final event of the Bankfin Off-Road Championship, on the East Rand over the weekend.

Goslar and Steyn, in the O'Hagan's / Kopanong Hotel Raceco won Class S to score their first national victory. For the rest of the Superteam, however, there were tales of woe. Class A and Special Vehicle overall contenders John Weir-Smith and Geoff Minnitt, Class B crew Rob and Gareth Wark and Sarel van der Merwe and Scott Abraham, in Class F in the Production Vehicle category, all failed to see out the distance.

"We had a clean run and with Greg Daus and Archie Rutherford falling out, the door opened for us," said Goslar. "It was a win that was a little unexpected, but we'll take it anyway.

"Glen and I were over the moon, and it has been an interesting introduction for both of us into the world of off-road racing."

A 25 cent O-ring eventually forced Weir-Smith and Minnitt out of the running. The pair were leading the Special Vehicle and Class A contingent when they dropped back via two punctures and a power steering problem.

The power steering eventually packed in for good - courtesy of the 25 cent part - and the season was over for the pair. "It was a disappointing end to a disappointing season for us," said Weir-Smith.

"We were going well but these things happen, and Nic and Glen saved some face for the team in what was a terrific performance."

A miserable run continued for the father and son Wark combination with a series of mechanical gremlins putting them out of the running. It was also a disappointing end for the legendary van der Merwe who was having his last outing in a competition vehicle.

Problems started on the prologue for van der Merwe and Abraham when wiring caught fire. The problem was repaired overnight but the pair started from 78th position - and midway through the first loop had made up 15 minutes.

"The Jeep was handling beautifully, just like an old Ford Escort BDA rally car, and I was enjoying myself," said van der Merwe. "Then we picked up a couple of sidewall punctures on a narrow section of the route where the Jeep was a little too wide for the track.

"I took a decision at the start to run light and without the full complement of tyres we eventually ran out of spares. It was a tactical error on my part."

-msa-

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Series Other rally
Drivers Sarel van der Merwe