The Atlas Copco / Chicago Pneumatic Jeep off road team's onslaught on the Oven Fresh Biscuits 500, round four of the SA Off Road Championship - presented by Absa, came to dramatic end on Saturday. The team, which has a youthful and highly ...
The Atlas Copco / Chicago Pneumatic Jeep off road team's onslaught on the Oven Fresh Biscuits 500, round four of the SA Off Road Championship - presented by Absa, came to dramatic end on Saturday.
The team, which has a youthful and highly experienced driver and co-driver combination in the form of Scott Abraham (22) and Richard 'Ouboet' Carolin (54), qualified 12th overall in Friday's 42km Prologue.
At the end of the first 224km lap of the main race on Saturday the Jeep, with Carolin at the wheel, had gained three places and was ninth overall and sixth in the Production Vehicle category. A lengthy pit stop to refuel the thirsty 5,9 litre V8 powered monster and replace a deflating left front Goodyear MTR tyre saw the Jeep, with Abraham now at the wheel, rejoin the race in tenth place overall.
Forty-two kilometers into the second lap all hell broke loose.
A broken rear control arm pitched the Atlas Copco / Chicago Pneumatic Jeep into a series of violent barrel rolls before the 2,8 ton monster came to rest on its roof. Abraham and Carolin emerged unscathed from the wreckage but the Jeep was a little the worse for wear.
"It was an highly unexpected and frightening moment that I do not wish to relive," said a shaken Abraham after the race. "There was no warning of what was to come and I am thankful that neither Richard nor I were injured in the accident."
"The Jeep's strong construction was our saving grace," added Carolin. "The race is now on to rebuild the vehicle in time for the Queen Motor Spares Tarka 400 on August 22 and 23 but I am confident that the team will meet the deadline."
Going into the Oven Fresh Biscuits 500 Abraham and Carolin had a sufficient points advantage over Neil Woolridge and Ken Skjoldhammer (Team Ford Racing Ranger) in the Class T championship to ensure that, in the event of a non-finish, they retain their runner-up status until the next event.