2008 pre-season news - new class announced

NEW CLASS FOR ABSA OFF ROAD CHAMPIONSHIP A new class for Special Vehicle cars will be in operation in this year's Absa Off Road Championship. Known as Class P the new category will be for normally aspirated cars with an engine capacity not to...

NEW CLASS FOR ABSA OFF ROAD CHAMPIONSHIP

A new class for Special Vehicle cars will be in operation in this year's Absa Off Road Championship.

Known as Class P the new category will be for normally aspirated cars with an engine capacity not to exceed 4 000cc. The engine must originate from any production car or commercial vehicle on sale in South Africa. Vehicles are restricted to two-wheel drive but gearbox and other drivetrain details are free.

"The move is aimed at creating a cost effective and highly competitive class to complement the current Class A and Class B categories," said Motorsport SA Off Road Car Racing Commission president Piet Swanepoel. "There has been phenomenal growth in Class SP, in the Production Vehicle category, over the last two seasons.

"There are now more than 15 SP Class vehicles and we are anticipating that Class P, by keeping costs to a minimum, will be just as successful and will help bring new faces into the sport."

Swanepoel added that the current Class S category would be phased out at the end of this season. However, following approval from Swanepoel and technical consultant Dick Sorensen, cars that competed in Class S in 2006 and 2007 will be accepted in Class P this year even if they don't fully comply with technical regulations.

"We are trying to make the transition into Class P as painless as we can for those competitors who have cars that can be upgraded or downgraded to compete in Class P," Swanepoel said. "As a commission we see long term benefits for the sport in the introduction of Class P and early feedback from competitors has been positive."

This year's championship opens with the Nissan Dealer 400, based in Darling in the Western Cape, on Friday, February 29 and Saturday, March 1.

-credit: msa

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