OFF ROAD CASUALTIES WILL BE BACK FOR MORE Motorsport is not known for taking prisoners and the recent Lesotho Sun 400, round five of the Absa Off Road Championship, saw a string of fancied crews fall by the wayside. Among those who failed to...
OFF ROAD CASUALTIES WILL BE BACK FOR MORE
Motorsport is not known for taking prisoners and the recent Lesotho Sun 400, round five of the Absa Off Road Championship, saw a string of fancied crews fall by the wayside.
Among those who failed to see out the distance were championship contenders. All of them, however, will be back in action on the Sun City 400 on September 29 and 30 and will be hoping for better results.
Included in the high profile Class A retirements were reigning SA champions Terence Marsh and Mike Whitehouse (Nashua Mobile BAT) and Ford Motorite Limpopo 400 winners Gary Bertholdt and Henry Kirstein in the Atlas Copco Porter. Marsh and Whitehouse recorded their first non finish in 13 starts when gearbox problems put them out of the running, while Bertholdt/Kirstein went out with a broken right rear hub.
John Weir-Smith and Geoff Minnitt, having their first outing of the year in the Kopanong Hotel Superteam Jimco, retired after only 55 kilometres when a rock went through the sump. The father and son team of Rob and Gareth Wark, in the Superpave Raceco, almost made it to the finish but 18 kilometres from the end a broken shock absorber saw them time barred.
Polokwane crew Naeem Moosajee and Rayhaan Bodhanya, in a new Tyre Rack Racing Jimco, saw their race ended by the wet conditions in areas of the route. Water worked its way into the electrical system and forced them to call it a day on the second of the three 100 kilometre loops that made up the route.
There was also a high attrition rate in Class B with David White (Ruwacon Truggy) going out with a broken stub axle, while veteran Giel Nel and Johan Smalberger (LUK Bosal Truggy Zarco) broke a sideshaft. Swaziland crew John Thompson and Clinton McNamara (Zarco Lite) broke an oil seal on the crankshaft on the start line, while Johan and Etienne Bezuidenhout (Adenco Raceco) broke a gearbox.
Championship contenders Richard Schilling and Chris Davies (Plastotech Aceco) and Archie Rutherford and Craig Doubtfire (Nashua Mobile Raceco) were among the Class S runners who failed to see out the distance. An alternator problem finally put paid to Schilling and Davies while Rutherford and Doubtfire went out when a left rear shock absorber sheered off.
After winning Class S on the Ford Motorite Limpopo 400 the Botswana crew of Garry Gillingham and Peter van Vuuren (Shell Raceco) had high hopes in Lesotho. These were dashed, however, when the clutch packed in after the first of the three laps.
Among the Production Vehicles the Ford factory pair of Rob Gurney and Graham Stainbank, running in the Super Production Class, were forced out when a fan cowling broke midway into the second lap of the race. This holed the radiator and they called it a day after the second lap.
The father and son pair of Cliff and Louis Weichelt, in the Bosal Toyota Hilux, were leading Class D when disaster struck 40 kilometres from the end. A front wheel brake caliper seized and broke off the wheel -- giving the crew a scary moment.
Coetzee Labuscagne and Johan Gerber, in the Raysonics Nissan Hardbody, saw their race come to an end after only 50 kilometres. A side shaft broke and they found themselves reduced to a spectators role.
Kobus van Tonder and Riaan Guelpa (Mitsubishi Pajero) went out with suspected rear suspension problems, while in Class E Manfred Schroder and Ward Huxtable (Ford Racing Ranger) had their share of the difficulties with a broken steering arm and snapped leaf spring, the husband and wife pair of George and Sharon Barkhuizen (Ruwacon Toyota Hilux) were sidelined with a broken sideshaft. Also among the Class E casualties were Douw de Boer and Ben Kruger (Mahindra) who broke the front differential only 10 kilometres into the race.