Jeep Off Road Team Botswana 1000 preview

The Atlas Copco/Chicago Pneumatic Jeep Off Road Team aims to play a waiting game on the Toyota 1000 Desert Race, round two of the SA Off Road Championship - presented by Bankfin, Absa's specialist vehicle and asset finance division - in Botswana...

The Atlas Copco/Chicago Pneumatic Jeep Off Road Team aims to play a waiting game on the Toyota 1000 Desert Race, round two of the SA Off Road Championship - presented by Bankfin, Absa's specialist vehicle and asset finance division - in Botswana from May 13-15.

Scott Abraham (22) and Richard Carolin (54) are currently joint second with former Production Vehicle champions Neil Woolridge and Ken Skjoldhammer (Team Ford Racing Ranger) in the ultra-competitive Class T championship for unlimited four-wheel drive production vehicles.

Abraham made his debut as a driver this season after spending the past five years as co-driver for the likes of rally and racing legend Sarel van Merwe, Paolo Piazza-Musso and Franz Czepek Sr. while Carolin made his as a co-driver after a long and successful career as a driver in the Special Vehicle category.

The pair share driving and co-driving duties and Carolin, a former winner of the Toyota 1000 Desert Race, is known for his consistent but conservative pace, which has seen him bring more cars to the finish than most.

It is this consistent and conservative approach that the Atlas Copco/Chicago Pneumatic Jeep Off Road Team hopes will bring them overall victory in an event that is well suited to the Goodyear MTR shod, 5,9 litre V8 powered Jeep, which is run in two-wheel drive form.

"The American designed and built Atlas Copco/Chicago Pneumatic Jeep has the power and the handling that is ideally suited to the desert conditions and the record shows that both Sarel van de Merwe and Paolo Piazza-Musso have led the race until running out fuel and catching fire respectively", said Carolin.

"Our aim is to play a waiting game and let the factory Nissans, Toyota and Ford fight it out for the lead while we maintain a consistent pace and pick off the inevitable casualties on our way to the finish", added Carolin.

"The attrition rate amongst the Class T factory teams on the Nissan Dealer 400 and the Nissan Sugarbelt 400 was high and, despite losing an hour when we landed in hole on the Nissan Sugarbelt 400, the Jeep never missed a beat and we maintained a steady pace to pick up valuable points."

The Toyota 1000 Desert Race gets underway on Friday, May 13 with a Prologue to determine starting positions for the main event, which starts at 08h00 the following day. Crews will complete 500km on Saturday, May 14, overnight at Mashwabisi and complete the 500km run back to Gaborone on Sunday, May 15.

-msa-

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Series Other rally