Nashua Mobile Racing Botswana 1000 preview

Team Nashua Mobile Racing will go to the Toyota 1000 Desert Race, the 3rd round of the SA National Off-road Championship that will take place in Botswana from June 13 to 15, with the main goal to win it overall again just like they did last ...

Team Nashua Mobile Racing will go to the Toyota 1000 Desert Race, the 3rd round of the SA National Off-road Championship that will take place in Botswana from June 13 to 15, with the main goal to win it overall again just like they did last year.

Greg Daus won the 2002 Toyota 1000 Desert Race in his Class S Raceco - one of the previous generation Special Vehicles - and took the overall race honors ahead of the bigger and more powerful Class A Jimcos, Chenowths and the locally manufactured BATs.

This year, Greg Daus and Archie Rutherford are taking on the rest of the field in their 3,5 liter Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution powered Chenowth fitted with twin turbos. At the recent Nissan Sugarbelt 400 in KwaZulu- Natal, the opposition had a preview of how well the new vehicle is packaged and prepared. It was their first race this season in the newly rebuild Chenowth and they cautiously used the first of three laps to get used to the vehicle.

After that they were locked in a tough battle with Gerald Mundell and Billy Bond (Prolong BAT) until the end and with the race routes not really allowing teams to pass and lots of dust, they had to settle for the second place - only seconds behind the winners.

"We used the Nissan Sugarbelt 400 really as a testing session and during the race as well as thereafter, we have identified and attended to all the problems relating to all the new developments," Daus said.

"The vehicle is just getting better and better and we will do our utmost to defend our 'title' at the Toyota 1000 Desert Race. We have got an excellent support team and infrastructure which is very important on a race like the Desert Race. Evan Hutchison, who builds the Chenowth and the rest of our technical crew, will play an important role in our performance in Botswana," he added.

Their team-mates, Terence Marsh and Trevor Ahier, will be competing in a 3,5 liter Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution powered Jimco fitted with a supercharger. Marsh and Ahier, who would dearly want to finish this grueling desert race again, experienced some mechanical problems with their Nashua Mobile Racing Jimco at the Nissan Sugarbelt 400 and could not finish. But this vehicle, under the mechanical expertise of Graeme Thornton, worked hard on further developments together with more testing and Marsh is now more satisfied with the mechanical setup and suspension of the powerful Jimco.

In 2000 Marsh finished the Toyota 1000 Desert Race on a motorcycle and the next year he switched to racing vehicles. He started the 2001 Toyota 1000 Desert Race in 4th place and at one stage, after hitting a rock, he was the 92nd racing vehicle in the field from where he worked his way up to 6th, but a CV broke 40km before the finish and the team had to give up their attempts to finish. Last year Marsh and Ahier finished in an excellent 4th place in Class A.

"Our main aim is to get to the end of day one which will consist of 500km of rough desert racing and after that, we will re-assess our strategy for the following racing day," Marsh commented. "The Jimco is not yet 100% right, but after further developments we are looking forward to finishing the 2003 Toyota 1000 Desert Race," he said.

Because the 3,5 liter Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution engines were never before used in the Special Vehicle Category, the two teams realise that they might experience some teething problems, but Daus and Rutherford's results already prove that the opposition must be on the lookout for these two Nashua Mobile Racing vehicles.

The Toyota 1000 Desert Race starts on Friday, June 13, with a 44km prologue to determine the starting positions for the main event, which starts at 8h00 on Saturday morning. After the teams have completed 500km, they will overnight at Mantshwabisi and another 500km on Sunday, June 15, will take them back to Gaborone.

-nmr-

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