CASTROL TOYOTA CREW WIN FORD MOTORITE LIMPOPO 400 PROLOGUE Castrol Toyota Hilux crew Bevan Bertholdt and Robin Houghton struck a blow for the Production Vehicle brigade when they won the Ford Motorite Limpopo 400 prologue today. The 40...
CASTROL TOYOTA CREW WIN FORD MOTORITE LIMPOPO 400 PROLOGUE
Castrol Toyota Hilux crew Bevan Bertholdt and Robin Houghton struck a blow for the Production Vehicle brigade when they won the Ford Motorite Limpopo 400 prologue today.
The 40 kilometre prologue, to determine start positions for tomorrow's fourth round of the Absa Off Road Championship, was otherwise dominated by Special Vehicle entries. Seven of the top 10 finishers were Special Vehicle entries.
"It was our first clean run of the season," said Houghton. "It gives us a confidence boost but it is going to be a long and hard day."
The only other Production Vehicle crews in the top 10 were Duncan Vos and Ralph Pitchford, in one of the two factory Proudly South African Nissan Navaras, and Mark Cronje and Chris Birkin in the second Castrol Toyota Hilux campaigning in the Super Production Class. Cronje and Birkin are also leading the Africa Heritage Cross Country, a round of the FIA Cross Country World Cup, being run in conjunction with the national championship race.
Second, third and fourth places in the prologue went to former motorcycle legend Alfie Cox and Hennie ter Stege, Gary Bertholdt/Henry Kirstein and Evan Hutchinson and Achim Bergman. Cox/ter Stege and Hutchison/Bergman are out in Motorite BAT entries with Bertholdt and Kirstein having their first outing in a new Atlas Copco Porter.
Coming in after Vos/Pitchford in fifth place were Toyota 1000 Desert Race winners Nick and Ryan Harper, in a BAT, and reigning champions and current championship leaders Terence Marsh and Mike Whitehouse in the Nashua Mobile BAT. They were followed by Cronje/Birkin with Colin Matthews/Jannie Erasmus (BAT) and Brandon Harcus Marcelle Trethewey (Motorite BAT) completing the top 10.
A disappointing prologue saw reigning Production Vehicle championship leaders Hannes Grobler and Francois Jordaan, in the second factory Nissan Navara, who found themselves down in 15th place. The pair got lost but came from behind to win the Toyota 1000 Desert Race in convincing fashion, and were three positions ahead of Ford favourites Neil Woolridge and Kenny Skjoldhammer.
On the Special Vehicle front fastest Class B qualifiers were Hamish and Alistair Stubbs, in a Viper, with David White second in the Ruwacon Truggy. Archie Rutherford and Craig Doubtfire led the Class S qualifiers in the Nashua Mobile BAT, ahead of Nic Goslar and Richard Carolin in the Kopanong Superteam Raceco..
In the Production Vehicle category Hugo and Jaap de Bruyn, in the Castrol Toyota Hilux, led the Class D brigade ahead of Cliff and Louis Weichelt in the Bosal Toyota Hilux. Manfred Schroder and Ward Huxtable were the quickest of the Class E qualifiers, with second place going to Jannie Visser and Joks le Roux in a Toyota Hilux.
The final leg of the Africa Heritage Cross Country starts at the Ysterberg Oord, about 30 kilometres from Polokwane, at 07h30 tomorrow. The first of the Ford Motorite 400 cars is scheduled to be flagged away at 08h00.