Western Cape prologue summary

Nissan Motorsport Dominates Nissan Dealer 400 Prologue Nissan Motorsport started the 2004 Absa Off Road Championship where the they ended the 2003 season by again dominating the Prologue to determine starting positions for the Nissan Dealer 400...

Nissan Motorsport Dominates Nissan Dealer 400 Prologue

Nissan Motorsport started the 2004 Absa Off Road Championship where the they ended the 2003 season by again dominating the Prologue to determine starting positions for the Nissan Dealer 400 in Darling today.

Former Production Vehicle champions Giniel de Villiers from Stellenbosch and Francois Jordaan set the fastest time in the Proudly South African Nissan Hardbody and will lead the field away in tomorrow's main event, which gets underway at 08h00 and comprises two laps of a tough 172km route.

They qualified 10 seconds faster than team mates Duncan Vos and Hennie ter Steege and 39 seconds faster than team mates and reigning Production Vehicle champions Hannes Grobler and Richard Leeke who had electrical problems on their Nissan Hardbody.

2003 Carnival City Casino 400 winners Neil Woolridge and Ken Skjoldhammer, themselves former Production Vehicle champions, took a cautious approach and qualified fourth fastest in the Team Ford Racing Ranger.

Reigning Class D champions Hein Grobler and Gerhard Prinsloo occupy sixth spot and are the leading Class D qualifier in the GBS Racing Nissan Hardbody. They had a troubled run and destroyed the front differential on one of many contour jumps but the service crew was able to repair the damage.

Reigning Class E champions Mark Cronje and Chris Birkin have moved to Class D and put up a strong performance in the four cylinder 2.7i Castrol Toyota Hilux, which will later in the season be fitted with a V6 engine, and will start only nine seconds behind the more powerful class leading Nissan.

Former Class E champions, son and father Hugo and Jaap de Bruyn showed the rest of the Class E field a clean pair of heels when the brought the ex-Cronje Castrol Toyota Hilux 2.7i home in seventh place over three minutes ahead of Jurie and Andre du Plessis in the Class E BB Auto Nissan Hardbody, who qualified 11th.

KwaZulu Natal cane farmers and former Class E champions Manfred Schroder and Jack Peckham were very happy with the performance of their new Class D Team Ford Racing Ranger, which was only completed on Tuesday night and will start eighth in the Production Vehicle category and second in Class D.

International motorcycle enduro star Alfie Cox and Ralph Pitchford qualified ninth in the Class D Arnold Chatz Cars Nissan Hardbody and will start eight seconds ahead of tenth placed qualifier Hannes Steyn and Ockie Fourie in the Class D CMH Isuzu.

The Castrol Toyota crew of Paolo Piazza-Musso and Rod Hering blotted it's copybook by getting lost in the Class D Castrol Toyota Hilux 2.7i and will have to be content with starting 15th while Team Ford Racing's development team of Buphumze Rubuluza and Khalile Fakaliza acquitted themselves well of their task in their off road racing debut by qualifying 5th in Class A.

On the Special Vehicle front 2003 Nissan Dealer 400 winners Atang Makgekgenene and Mike Stangl grabbed an early advantage when they set the quickest time in the Total Jimco, now fitted with a close on 600hp Chevrolet LS-1 engine.

Reigning Special Vehicle Co-drivers champion and winner of four rounds of the 2003 championship Brandon Harcus was non too happy with his performance in the Adrenalise Corporate Entertainment BAT. He and co-driver Achim Bergmann got lost and then the BAT mysteriously lost all electrical power and they will start second, 61 seconds behind the leaders.

KwaZulu Natal pair Clint Gibson and Mike Brown qualified third in the Praesidium Financial Services BAT and were followed by Class B leaders Henry Kirstein and Renier Jooste in the Atlas Copco BAT and Class S leaders Richard Schilling and Ashley Thorn in the Plastotech Raceco.

-msa-

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Mike Brown , Giniel de Villiers , Alfie Cox , Ralph Pitchford , Duncan Vos