Carnival: Final fling for Supervan's van der Merwe

Sarel van der Merwe will have a final fling in an off-road vehicle when he joins the O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam on the Carnival City Casino 400, the final round of this year's Bankfin Off-Road Championship, on November 29 and 30. With...

Sarel van der Merwe will have a final fling in an off-road vehicle when he joins the O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam on the Carnival City Casino 400, the final round of this year's Bankfin Off-Road Championship, on November 29 and 30.

With van der Merwe retiring from circuit racing at the Vodacom Power Tour meeting at AA Kyalami on November 23, the East Rand event will be the legendary Supervan's final appearance in a competition vehicle. Van der Merwe will link up with Scott Abraham in the O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam Jeep running in Class F in the Production Vehicle category.

Van der Merwe was scheduled to have his last off-road outing on the recent Queen Motor Spares Tarka 400, but a set of circumstances forced him to withdraw at the last minute. Veteran Richard Carolin took over the drive and with young Abraham, who prepares the Jeep, took the Class F honours in the Eastern Cape.

Now, however, Supervan is given another opportunity to say his farewells to the off-road brigade -- and is looking forward to a good result. "I was disappointed at having to withdraw from the Eastern Cape race, and am fortunate enough to have been given another bite at the cherry," said van der Merwe.

"I am grateful to vehicle owner Arthur Abraham and the Superteam for the chance to have a final fling in off-road, and hopefully I can repay them with a good result. It appears the team has gone a long way towards improving reliability on the Jeep, and if all goes well Scott and I could shock a few of the big boys in the four wheel drive vehicles.

"I would enjoy that."

Vehicle owner Arthur Abraham said he had enjoyed a long association with van der Merwe throughout his career, and was happy to provide the opportunity for a final off-road outing. "Sarel and I go back a long way," he said, "and it is going to be a nostalgic weekend.

"Scott has done a great job preparing the Jeep, and we don't think reliability is going to be a problem. We also ran Goodyear MTR tyres on the Tarka 400 and they worked beautifully for Scott and Richard as well as Special Vehicle winners John Weir-Smith and Geoff Minnitt in the Superteam BMW Jimco."

A number of championship issues, including the Production and Special Vehicle overall drivers and co-drivers titles, will be settled on the Carnival City Casino 400. That adds a touch of the dramatic to the final event of the season, with van der Merwe's final fling providing an additional element that is likely to draw enthusiasts to the East Rand.

-msa-

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Series Other rally
Drivers Sarel van der Merwe