Production championship update 2008-05-27

VOS BACK ON TOP OF PRODUCTION VEHICLE CHAMPIONSHIP Victory in the Production vehicle category on the recent Nissan Sugarbelt 400 in KwaZulu-Natal, round three of the Absa Off Road Championship, has taken reigning South African champion Duncan...

VOS BACK ON TOP OF PRODUCTION VEHICLE CHAMPIONSHIP

Victory in the Production vehicle category on the recent Nissan Sugarbelt 400 in KwaZulu-Natal, round three of the Absa Off Road Championship, has taken reigning South African champion Duncan Vos back to the top of both the overall and Super Production Class championships.

Vos and Ralph Pitchford, in the factory Sasol Nissan Navara, scored their second win of the season with a commanding display on the Nissan Sugarbelt. Pitchford, however, missed the Eastern Cape 500 through an overseas commitment, and is third in the co-drivers championships.

KZN favourite Neil Woolridge is second in the overall and Class A driver standings while Kenny Skjoldhammer, who sits alongside him in the factory Ford Racing Ranger, leads the co-driver championship. Castrol Toyota Hilux pair Mark Cronje and Chris Birkin, winners of the Eastern Cape 500, are third among the drivers and second among the co-drivers.

While the wins have gone the way of Vos/Pitchford and Cronje/Birkin, the Ford crew have been models of consistency this season. This also applies to Castrol Toyota Hilux pair Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst who are fourth in both championships, with former champion Hannes Grobler and Juan Mohr (Sasol Nissan Navara) fifth.

Two class wins this season have taken Coetzee Labuscagne and Johan Gerber (Raysonics Nissan Hardbody) to the top of the Class D standings. Chris du Plooy junior and Henk van Vuuren, in the RFS Toyota Hilux, have moved into second place ahead of Henri and Maurice Zermatten (Ryobi Nissan Hardbody) who were hit by a non finish on the Nissan Sugarbelt 400.

Also hit by KZN non finishes were reigning drivers champion Cliff Weichelt and Jimmy Goch (N1 4x4 Toyota Hilux D4D) and Ramon Bezuidenhout/Stefan Lock in a Toyota Hilux. Bezuidenhout/Lock were rookies of the year last season but have failed to see out the distance in all three events run so far this season.

Experienced Jannie Visser and Joks le Roux, in the Team Barberspan Toyota Hilux, also scored their second win of the year on the Nissan Sugarbelt. That puts them into a comfortable lead over reigning driver^Òs champion Jack Peckham and Lucio Santoro (Ford Racing Ranger) in Class E.

Dewald van Breda and stand-in co-driver Pierre Mans (Toyota Hilux) were also hit by a non-finish on the Nissan Sugarbelt as was the Barden Tyre Service Nissan Hardbody pair of Thomas Rundle and Brian Roberts. A gutsy performance in KZN from Deon Venter and Ian Palmer (4x4 Megaworld Toyota Hilux) took them into fourth in Class E with Daniel Swanepoel/James Moss (IDM Cement Toyota Hilux) also scoring their first points of the year.

The next event on the calendar is the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race from 13 to 15 June.

-credit: msa

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Series Other rally
Drivers Ian Palmer , Ralph Pitchford , Duncan Vos , Japie Badenhorst