Mmabatho: Superteam preview

The O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel off-road 'Superteam' is spreading its wings. New premises, a new service to the off-road industry and new faces in the squad will keep the pot boiling prior to the O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel 500 later this month. The...

The O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel off-road 'Superteam' is spreading its wings.

New premises, a new service to the off-road industry and new faces in the squad will keep the pot boiling prior to the O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel 500 later this month. The O'Hagan's / Kopanong Hotel 500 will be round four of this year's Bankfin Off-Road Championship, and marks the halfway stage in this year's championship.

The 'Superteam' has moved to new premises in Indianapolis Close, in the Kyalami Business Park, where the squad's five competition vehicles will be permanently housed and race prepared. Previously occupied by the BMW Motorsport division, the workshops are fully equipped and include a fabrication division to service the needs of the 'Superteam' and other off-road competitors.

At the same time a division has been set up to import specialised components. Services offered by the new division will also be available to the off-road racing industry.

"Since the inception of the 'Superteam' it has always been our intention to operate from a centralised base," said O'Hagan's chairman John Weir-Smith. "The new workshop is ideally situated, and also provides all the facilities we need to meet our own needs and those of other off-road competitors.

"At the same time there is a need for a service offering specialised components to off-road competitors. The new division will satisfy that need, and we see great potential for growth in this area of our operations."

Permanent inhabitants at the new workshop facility will be the BMW Jimco shared by Weir-Smith and Tony George, the Jeep Cherokee crewed by Paolo Piazza-Musso and Scott Abraham, the Raceco in the hands of Richard Carolin and Geoff Minnitt, the newly acquired Chevrolet to be driven by Andre Botha and 'Beans' Hydenrych and the Mighty Mag shared by team newcomers Robert and Gareth Wark.

"The addition of the Wark father and son combination gives us 'Superteam' representation in Classes A, B, S in the Special Vehicle category, and Class F in the Production Vehicle category," said team co-ordinator Arthur Abraham. "We are delighted to have Robert and Gareth as part of the family, and four of the five crews will be out in force on the O'Hagan's / Kopanong Hotel 500."

Abraham added, however, that there was a possibility that the Jeep would move back into Class T following the arrival of custom made drive shafts and universals from the United States. The Jeep started out in Class T this season, before a decision was made to move the vehicle into Class F.

"We will make a decision on whether or not to go back into Class T once the Jeep has been rebuilt and its 4x4 performance has been evaluated," said Abraham. "The Jeep has enormous potential but we need to decide whether that potential will be better harnessed in Class T or Class F."

The Warks will be making their 'Superteam' debuts on the O'Hagan's / Kopanong 500. For Botha, managing director of the Kopanong Hotel, and business partner Hydenrych in the ex Frik Mulder Chevrolet it will be a bit of wait while the vehicle is being rebuilt.

"Gareth and I are excited about joining the 'Superteam' squad," said the experienced Wark. "The whole set up is very professional, and we are both determined to produce good results."

-okhs/aa-

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Series Other rally
Drivers Tony George