Team Nashua Gauteng 400 preview

TEAM NASHUA MOBILE RACING READY FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE BATTLE Completing and defending an eight point lead in the last round of the Absa Off-road Championship is what is required of the Nashua Mobile Racing BAT Spec-1 team of ...

TEAM NASHUA MOBILE RACING READY FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE BATTLE

Completing and defending an eight point lead in the last round of the Absa Off-road Championship is what is required of the Nashua Mobile Racing BAT Spec-1 team of Terence Marsh and Michael Whitehouse to secure their first national off-road championship.

Marsh and Whitehouse have lead the Special Vehicle category of the national off-road championship since the second round of the season, the Nissan Dealers 400 which they won overall. This overall victory together with a further two runner up results and a few consistent finishes have enabled them to lead the championship by eight points from the off-road veteran, Nick Harper and his son, Ryan, with one event left.

The team finished the last event, the FIA observed Toyota Dealers 1000 in Mpumalanga, in fifth place overall while they were fourth in Class A and thereby consolidated their lead in both the overall and class A championship. It was a result that came with several complications and drawbacks, but the team together with chief technician Graeme Thornton and his support crew managed to dig deep and finish this extremely tough event.

Brake failure 5km into the first 200km stage forced them to take a cautious approach through the remainder of the stage, at times utilizing the gearbox to slow the vehicle down. Unfortunately this set back allowed the front runners to gain an advantage of almost 25 minutes on stage one.

Marsh and Whitehouse, who are known for strategizing and planning their racing carefully, had a big scare the next day when they experienced a major blow-out at 180km/h through stage two. After surviving this hell raising moment they were further plagued by a starter motor that packed up with 240km to go, which in turn was followed by the fan belt coming off at 175km/h. After replacing the fan belt and due to the faulty starter motor, navigator Whitehouse had to single handedly push start the vehicle in order to complete stage two. After an eventful second day the team eventually managed to finish in eighth place overall, almost 40 minutes behind the leaders.

On day three, it seemed as if the misfortune stayed with them as they suffered a further two punctures, one of them happening during a mountain pass stage making it impossible for them to stop and change for almost 3km. Whitehouse had further problems as the navigation system packed up after only 50km into the final stage. With the championship title in mind, they kept calm and brought the vehicle home, one of only 10 finishes in the special vehicle category. This finish enabled them to score more valuable points towards their ultimate goal - winning their first national off-road championship.

The last round of the championship, the Ford Carnival City 400 battle will be one not to miss as both teams subscribe to the theory that you have to first finish to finish first. The route will be tough on the teams and the vehicles, but good preparation and strategy are two of the strong characteristics of Team Nashua Mobile Racing.

Another title winking.

Another Nashua Mobile rider, the talented SuperMotard motorbike rider, Brian Capper, is in a similar position and will attempt to grab the title at the Carousel national event the same weekend.

The Ford Carnival City 400 will start on Friday, 18 November, with a 40km prologue that will determine the starting order and starting times for the main race on Saturday, 19 November.

The main race will start at 08h00 and the riders will have to complete a 144km and 98km loop twice. The fact that almost 75 percent of the route will be all new to the competitors, will make for an even more interesting race and will add to The Battle between the Best.

-Team Nashua Mobile Racing.

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