Production championship update after Gaborone

VOS EXTENDS PRODUCTION VEHICLE CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD Reigning South African champion Duncan Vos, in a factory Sasol Nissan Navara, has extended his lead in the Production Vehicle category and Super Production Class in this year's Absa Off Road ...

VOS EXTENDS PRODUCTION VEHICLE CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD

Reigning South African champion Duncan Vos, in a factory Sasol Nissan Navara, has extended his lead in the Production Vehicle category and Super Production Class in this year's Absa Off Road Championship.

Vos's third win of the year on the recent Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race saw him open up a comfortable 18 point lead over former champion Neil Woolridge, from the factory Ford Racing stable, in the overall points standings. The Botswana win was also Vos's second successive triumph in the desert marathon and Nissan's seventh win in a row.

But while Vos sits atop the driver standings his partner, Ralph Pitchford, is third in the co-driver stakes. Pitchford missed the Botswana outing because of an overseas commitment and for the second time this season Louis Weichelt sat alongside Vos.

Woolridge's partner, Kenny Skjoldhammer leads the co-driver championship ahead of Chris Birkin and Pitchford who has shared in two of Vos's wins this season. Castrol Toyota factory driver Mark Cronje, who is third in the driver championship, and Birkin finished second to Vos and Weichelt on the Desert Race.

Fourth in the driver and co-driver stakes are Hannes Grobler and Juan Mohr, teamed in a second Sasol Nissan Navara, with Castrol Toyota Hilux pair Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst who failed to finish the Desert Race. Hard on their heels are Kobus van Tonder and Riaan Guelpa (Unifreight Ford Ranger) who like Vos and the Woolridge/Skjoldhammer combination, have a 100 percent finish record this season.

Because of anomalies is points allocations in overall and class finishes, there are slight changes in the SP Class positions. Mohr is third among the co-drivers, ahead of Pitchford, while van Tonder and Guelpa move ahead of Visser/Badenhorst.

A good battle is developing in Class D where Coetzee Labuscagne and Johan Gerber (Raysonics Nissan Hardbody) have an eight point lead over the Zermatten brothers, Henri and Maurice, in the Ryobi Nissan Hardbody. The Zermatten's won in Botswana for the second year in a row, but have the consistent Chris du Plooy junior and Henk van Vuuren breathing down their necks.

Only a single point separates the experienced Zermatten's and the youthful du Plooy/van Vuuren combination in the RFS Toyota Hilux. Young du Plooy co-drover for his father, Chris senior, last year but this season has switched roles.

A third win of the season on the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race has given Jannie Visser and Joks le Roux (Team Barberspan Toyota Hilux) a clear lead in Class E. They now lead Jack Peckham and Lucio Santoro (Ford Racing Ranger) who were hit with a 25 minute penalty for various infractions in Botswana.

The penalty dropped Peckham and Santoro from first in class to third behind Visser/le Roux and Dewald van Breda and Pieter du Plessis in the Potch Plastics Toyota Hilux. Van Breda and du Plessis, one of three co-drivers in the Potchefstroom team so far this season, are third in the overall standings.

-credit: absa

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