The 2003 SA National Off-road Special Vehicle Driver's Champion, Giel Nel, currently participating in the Class B Luk/Ate Truggy, has announced that he is buying the South African designed, developed and built Zarco to participate in the 2005 ...
The 2003 SA National Off-road Special Vehicle Driver's Champion, Giel Nel, currently participating in the Class B Luk/Ate Truggy, has announced that he is buying the South African designed, developed and built Zarco to participate in the 2005 off-road season.
After a very consistent season, Nel (55) won the 2003 overall Special Vehicle Driver's Championship in his Class B single seater Truggy and decided that he would like to possibly race in Class A with the Zarco, a special vehicle that has been on the off-road racing market for 16 months. At the moment, the Zarco Lite, a family business belonging to Hendrik Fourie, only participates in Class B, but they are in the process of developing a vehicle suited for the more powerful and less restricted Class A. Nel still has to make a final decision whether he will be racing in Class A and probably with a navigator with him in the cabin.
According to Nel who only started racing in 1993 when his children stopped racing, the Zarco is the best balanced special vehicle currently on the market regarding quality and price. "It is a strong vehicle that suits the South African racing conditions. I've raced among them these last few events and I like the way it handles on the different types of terrain," he said. "And I think I have to start using a good navigator again as the speeds we are currently doing, are much higher than a few years ago and although I am used to do the navigation myself, you can go much quicker with another set of eyes in the vehicle," he concluded.
After winning the different class championships from 1993 to 1995 and earning his Transvaal colours for these performances, Nel bought the Truggy in 1999 as it was the only new special vehicle on the market with a chromolly frame available. Precise preparation and consistency saw him winning the National title last year with the well-known yellow single- seater Truggy. Although this was his first overall championship title, he was the Class B champion for three years.
The competition in Class A is extremely competitive with the imported Jimco's and another locally designed and built special vehicle, the BAT, fighting it out at each event. But even though Nel is racing to enjoy it, he is still confident that he might just cause a stir between the front- runners. His aim in the bigger and faster Class A vehicle will however be to finish races and score points.
Giel Nel as well as the five Zarco Lite teams currently participating in the Absa Off-road Championship will be in action at the sixth round of the national championship, the Mafikeng 500, on September 24 and 25, in the Northwest Province.