Excellent start for Zermatten brothers Henri and Maurice Zermatten approached the 2002 National Off-road racing season in their Playstation sponsored Mitsubishi Pajero like they always approach an exciting task -- optimistically, but careful.
Excellent start for Zermatten brothers
Henri and Maurice Zermatten approached the 2002 National Off-road racing season in their Playstation sponsored Mitsubishi Pajero like they always approach an exciting task -- optimistically, but careful. This proved to be a good approach for this privateer team and after they have sorted the problems on the long wheelbase Pajero, like a broken diff -- a direct result of the Sun City 200 regional offroad race earlier this year -- they made their first attack on the Class D championship.
After the prologue they started the race in the 14th position overall -- 5th in Class D and 8th of the production vehicles. But the dust was a major problem for all the teams that started only seconds apart -- the Zermattens started a mere six seconds behind the special frame vehicle in front of them -- and the route marking appeared to be a nightmare. With a big fuel tank, the Playstation Pajero did not need to refuel at the halfway mark -- they were the 5th vehicle in the pits area and the 4th to leave -- and started the second loop second in their class behind touring car driver, Duncan Vos and navigator Mike Griffiths (Nissan Hardbody).
After getting lost lots of times, like most of the other teams, the last 500 m to the finish was quite nailbiting as they were closing in on the Castrol Toyota Land Cruiser of Piet Haasbroek and Christo Bosch who beat them eventually with only 25 s and they had to settle for the second position in class. They were the fourth vehicle -- and the fourth production vehicle -- to receive the checkered flag -- an excellent start for a privateer team with an "old" racing car and a great improvement on their 6th place in class (12th in the production category) last year.