Championship point update 2008-05-27

SULLWALD'S TAKE OVER SPECIAL VEHICLE CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD For the first time in more than a decade Karl-Heinz Sullwald finds himself back at the top of the South African off road championship. A non finish for Regent Racing pair Terrence Marsh...

SULLWALD'S TAKE OVER SPECIAL VEHICLE CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD

For the first time in more than a decade Karl-Heinz Sullwald finds himself back at the top of the South African off road championship.

A non finish for Regent Racing pair Terrence Marsh and Pieter Groenewald on the recent Nissan Sugarbelt 400, round three of the Absa Off Road Championship, has lifted Sullwald and his son, Quintin, to the top of the overall and Class A standings in the Special Vehicle category. Marsh and Groenewald were non-finishers on the Nissan Sugarbelt and dropped to second in the championship.

And, to take the family ties further Sullwald's brother Herman, with whom he won the SA championship in the early 90s, is lying third in both championships along with co-driver Paul Helberg. The Sullwald brothers returned to racing three seasons ago after a 10 year sabbatical, and are campaigning this year in Sullwald Transport Zarcos.

Both Sullwald teams have 100 percent finish records this season with one win between them. Karl-Heinz and Quintin won the Eastern Cape 500, round two of the Absa series, and next month will be looking for a repeat victory on the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race in Botswana.

Victory on the Nissan Sugarbelt 400 lifted Gary Bertholdt and Andre Vermeulen, in the Atlas Copco Porter, into fourth place in the overall standings. Only three points separate Bertholdt/Vermeulen from Mike Whitehouse/Mathew Carlson (Regent Racing BAT) and Shameer Variawa/Siegfried Rousseau (Total Porter) who are fourth and fifth respectively.

Because of vagaries in the differentiation of points awarded in the overall and class standings, the overall positions are slightly different from the Class A standings. While the top three remain the same, Whitehouse/Carlson and Variawa/Rousseau move ahead of Bertholdt and Vermeulen in Class A.

There is an interesting situation in Class B where Ruwacon BAT driver Louw de Bruin leads the drivers championship with partner Rudi Britz third in the co-drivers stakes. Britz missed the recent Nissan Sugarbelt 400 for personal reasons and this has dropped him down the list.

Veteran former champion Giel Nel (LUK Africa Truggy Zarco) is second in the drivers championship with co-driver Deon de Kock leading the co-drivers standings. Reigning co-drivers champion Jan Kraaij (Keymax BAT), now cast in the role of a driver, is third in the drivers championship with Tiddo Voogt, who sits alongside him, second among the co-drivers.

KwaZulu-Natal crew Don Thompson and Don Blakey (Zarco) have taken control of Class P following a win on the Eastern Cape 500 and second on the Nissan Sugarbelt 400 in KZN. The pair also raised eyebrows when they finished second in the Special Vehicle category on the prologue to determined start positions for the KZN race.

Thompson/Blakey have a commanding lead over Nissan Sugarbelt winners Johan and Etienne Bezuidenhout in the Adenco BAT. The two crews were the only classified Class P finishers on the KZN event which took a heavy toll on Class P crews.

-credit: saorc

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