Jeep - Mafeking 500 preview

The crowd-pleasing Vacation Vans Jeep Cherokee will be seeking a result worthy of its awesome power and go-anywhere ability when it takes its place among the class T Super Trucks in the Production Vehicle category in the next round of the MSA Off...

The crowd-pleasing Vacation Vans Jeep Cherokee will be seeking a result worthy of its awesome power and go-anywhere ability when it takes its place among the class T Super Trucks in the Production Vehicle category in the next round of the MSA Off Road Car Championship, the O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel 500.

Arthur Abraham and Stratford Voogt will share the driving and Scott Abraham will occupy the navigator's hot seat, a job he has done with aplomb with a variety of drivers so far this year.

The privately-entered American-built V8 Jeep has threatened to upset the official factory entries' applecart on more than one occasion so far this year, but technical problems have spared the blushes.

Paolo Piazza-Musso, Arthur Abraham and Scott Abraham had a disappointing non-finish in the recent Toyota 1000 Desert Race. They started a lowly 35th after getting lost in the time trial, but recovered to move into the top 10 by midway through the first day. At the end of the day they were in 11th position after losing four-wheel drive.

Arthur Abraham took over the driving duties on day two and he and his son soon moved into the top 10, only to lose time with a puncture after colliding with a tree in tight, twisty conditions on the northern loop. Then, 20 km from the service point, the Jeep was sidelined with a broken torque converter. Abraham senior didn't back off the throttle after a high speed jump and the flying Jeep landed with power on maximum resulting in the planetary gear in the gearbox disintegrating and the torque converter crying enough when the rear wheels made contact with the earth.

The Jeep's performance and handling have been superb throughout the season and, with the Mafeking conditions ideally suited to the big V8, a good result is definitely on the cards. The Vacation Vans Jeep will run in two-wheel drive until front driveshaft problems have been solved in the USA.

The Vacation Vans off road team relies on product and technical support from Castrol, Champion Spark Plugs, Chicago Pneumatic, Ferodo, Industrial Hardware and STP.

-AB

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Other rally