The recent O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel 500 in North West Province, produced new overall championship leaders in both the Special and Production Vehicle categories at the halfway stage of the Bankfin Off-Road Championship. Going into the Toyota...
The recent O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel 500 in North West Province, produced new overall championship leaders in both the Special and Production Vehicle categories at the halfway stage of the Bankfin Off-Road Championship.
Going into the Toyota Dealer 400 in Mpumalanga on August 23 and 24, the ultra consistent Eastern Cape pair of Greg Harvey and Boy Stone (Castrol Queen Motor Spares Jimco) lead the Special Vehicle championship. On the Production Vehicle front Nissan Hardbody factory pair Duncan Vos and Mike Griffiths, running in Class D, have moved into a commanding lead in the championship, sponsored by Bankfin, the specialist vehicle finance division of ABSA Bank, after storming performances in recent events.
In the Special Vehicle overall drivers championship Harvey has a narrow three point lead over early season pacesetter Greg Daus (Nashua Mobile Raceco) with three drivers sharing third place. Billy Bond (Prolong Raceco), Giel Nel (LUK Africa Truggy) and Marcus Taylor (Truck Time Ysco) are lumped together a further 14 points adrift of Daus.
In the co-drivers championship Stone leads Marc de Chalain, who sits alongside Taylor, and Anton Lombard, who co-drives with Bond, by a comfortable 17 points. Sharing third are Tony George, who has parted company with John Weir-Smith in the O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel BMW Jimco, and Trevor Ormerod .
Where the Production Vehicle category is concerned, Vos and Griffiths now sit atop the drivers championship with a handy 22 point lead over Hugo and Jaap de Bruyn (Toyota Hilux) with Neil Woolridge/Kenny Skjodhammer (Ford Racing Ranger) a further five points off the pace. Early season leaders Piet Haasbroek and Christo Bosch (Castrol Toyota Land Cruiser) now share fourth place with Mark Corbett/Juan Mohr (Century Property Developments Isuzu) with the pair only two points adrift of Woolridge and Skjoldhammer.
In the class championships Harvey has a comfortable lead in Class A in the Special Vehicle category. He leads Terrence Marsh (Nashua Mobile Raceco) by 24 points with arch rivals Weir-Smith and Atang Makgekgenene (SAM Racing Jimco) sharing third place just a point behind Marsh.
Veteran Nel still leads the Class B drivers title race, but now has only a three point gap between himself and Taylor. A long way off in third place is Gerald Mundell (Raceco) who trails Taylor by 25 points.
De Chalain is also comfortably set in the co-drivers championship. He leads Brian Scott (Raceco) by 37 points with Kim Dixon (Nashua Mobile Racing Radflo) only three points adrift.
Daus still leads the Class S drivers championship from Bond and John Lambert with 28 points covering the three drivers. Anton Lombard, who partners Bond in the Prolong Raceco, has a seven point advantage over Ormerod with the rest of the challengers having to make up some ground.
The change in the overall championship is also reflected in Class D where Vos and Griffiths lead Haasbroek/Bosch and Corbett and Juan Mohr. In Class E surprise packages Hugo and Jaap de Bruyn continue to hold off reigning champions Manfred Schroder and Jack Peckham (Ford Racing Ranger), but the gap between the two crews has shrunk to just eight points.
In Class T former champions Woolridge and Skjoldhammer have yet to win an event this season, but consistency has taken the Ford Racing crew 11 points ahead of reigning champions Giniel de Villiers and Francois Jordaan in the factory Nissan Hardbody. De Villiers and Jordaan have won twice this season, but three second place finishes have done the trick for Woolridge and Skjoldhammer.
The O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel 500 also produced a change at the top of the South African Manufacturers Championship. A poor showing from Toyota saw them overtaken by Nissan who now lead by a slender 21 points, with Ford more than 100 points adrift in third place.
Bankfin, if it moves, we'll finance it.