Barberspan: Shumie van Vuuren review

Not a good start for Shumie He finished all the races last year -- except the last one -- and lost his last chance to win the overall production driver's championship, but he still won the Class D driver's championship. This is Shumie...

Not a good start for Shumie

He finished all the races last year -- except the last one -- and lost his last chance to win the overall production driver's championship, but he still won the Class D driver's championship. This is Shumie van Vuuren, the farmer from Botswana, who raced in his Castrol-backed Toyota Land Cruiser.

Unfortunately he could not start the new season defending his title together with longtime friend and navigator Fanie Kotze at the first race being held at Barberspan, in the Sannieshof and Delareyville area in the Northwest Province. Kotze missed this event last year and the younger Van Vuuren brother, Clinton, received the navigator's trophy after they earned their second class win of the season.

Van Vuuren and Kotze finished the time trail with a broken bellhousing and replaced the gearbox during the night to start the race in the 19th position overall -- only 4 min 25 s behind the leaders -- and were the 7th Class D vehicle and 11th in the production category off the staring line. But the Castrol Land Cruiser could not even get to the halfway mark when exactly the same happened -- a broken bellhousing again. And that was the end of their race. According to Van Vuuren, he does not know what the problem can be. They rebuilt the 2001 Land Cruiser on a new chassis and never had this problem before. And with all the races counting towards the championship, there's a lot of work for this team. Luckily there is a break of about seven weeks on the calendar before the Nissan Sugarbelt 400 that will take place in the Eston area in Kwazulu-Natal on May 10 and 11, 2002.

-vvr-

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Series Other rally