Strong KZN contingent expected at season finale

A strong contingent of KwaZulu-Natal competitors will contest the Carnival City Casino 400, the final round of the SA Off Road Car Racing Championship.presented by Absa, on November 14 and 15. In the Production Vehicle category...

A strong contingent of KwaZulu-Natal competitors will contest the Carnival City Casino 400, the final round of the SA Off Road Car Racing Championship.presented by Absa, on November 14 and 15.

In the Production Vehicle category 2001 Carnival City Casino 400 winners Neil Woolridge and Ken Skjoldhammer will be hoping to put their devastating crash during the 2002 event behind them by winning the championship finale in the Team Ford Racing Ranger.

The Ford pair last won at the Carnival City Casino 400 in 2001 and has had to stand by and watch as the Proudly South African Nissan Team raked in 14 successive wins in 15 starts. Based on their form on the recent Toyota Dealer 400, where they lead the race on various occasions only to be sidelined with differential problems, they clearly have what it takes to beat the all-conquering Nissans.

Former Class E champions Manfred Schroder and Jack Peckham have had a frustrating season in the Team Ford Racing Ranger and only managed to win the class on one occasion. Mark Cronje and Chris Birkin have already wrapped up the Class E championship in the Castrol Toyota Hilux 2700i and it will be up to the sugar cane farmers to protect their third place in the championship.

Newcomers to off road racing Zane Pearce and Hennie Vosloo (Hi Q Ford Ranger) have shown potential in Class E but have three consecutive non- finishes that have placed them out of contention for the championship.

KZN crews are well represented in the Special Vehicle category with Gerald Mundell and Billy Bond in the Prolong BAT locked in a nail-biting battle for the overall championship with Giel Nel in the Class B Luk Africa Truggy. Mundell and Bond won the Nissan Sugarbelt 400 and Mundell trails Nel by 27 points in the overall Drivers Championship while Bond leads the overall Co-drivers Championship. Mundell and Bond have a mere three point lead in the Class A championship

Clint Gibson and Mike Brown (Praesidium Financial Services BAT) picked up three successive Class B wins before switching to Class A on the Toyota Dealer 400. They had the race win in the bag but wrong slotted within metres of the finish and allowed Mark Corbett and Juan Mohr to nip through and win by 49 seconds. Gibson and Brown have an outside chance of winning the overall and Class A Drivers and Co-drivers championships so they cannot afford any mistakes on the Carnival City Casino 400.

The Carnival City Casino 400 will be a spectator friendly event and a popular "bring 'n braai" area will again be in operation, providing a friendly atmosphere for friends and enthusiasts to get together in convivial surroundings.

Spectators at Carnival City Casino will also have access to fast food outlets, a beer tent and toilet facilities. The section of the route that passes through the Carnival City complex has also been revamped and now includes additional high-speed ramps to increase the spectacle.

This will provide enthusiasts with spectacular views of the action. Spectators will be able to see the cars three times from one vantage point within the complex, and will also be within close proximity of spectator points within a few kilometers of Carnival City Casino.

The weekend's action will get underway with the prologue, to determine grid positions, at 12:00 on Friday, November 14. This should provide plenty of action and will set the tone for what looks like developing into a highly dramatic weekend of world class off-road racing. The main event gets underway at 08:00 on Saturday, November 15.

-msa-

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Mike Brown , Mark Corbett