Off Road update after round four

After four rounds of the eight-event 2001 MSA Off Road Car Championship, the father and son pairing of Franz Czepek senior and junior have firmly established their authority on the Special Vehicle category with four consecutive wins. Reigning ...

After four rounds of the eight-event 2001 MSA Off Road Car Championship, the father and son pairing of Franz Czepek senior and junior have firmly established their authority on the Special Vehicle category with four consecutive wins.

Reigning Special Vehicle co-drivers' champion Buks Carolin (who has switched to a works class T Mitsubishi Pajero this year) and team-mate Hennie ter Stege lead the closely contested Production Vehicle category in the drivers' and co-drivers' championships respectively.

The Czepeks have had a dream run in their class A Vee Motors Chenowth so far this season and seem headed for a fifth national title. They have a full-house of 140 points and a comfortable 40 point lead over reigning class B champion Giel Nel in his single seater Luk Africa Truggy.

Nel is 20 points ahead of overall third placed John Weir-Smith (class A O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Jimco).

Weir-Smith's co-driver, Geoff Minnitt is second in the co-drivers' championship, 60 points behind Franz Czepek junior and 18 points ahead of Boy Stone.

Third behind Weir-Smith in the class A drivers' championship is Greg Harvey (Queen Motor Spares Jimco). His co-driver Boy Stone is third in the co-drivers' championship behind Franz Czepek junior and Geoff Minnitt.

Second in the class B drivers' championship in a three-way tie on 20 points each are Gavan Gray, former champion Richard Schilling and Niels Erichsen.

Johan van Jaarsveld, Ashley Thorn and Carla Erichsen jointly lead the class B co-drivers' championship with 20 points each.

Reigning Special Vehicle drivers' champion Shameer Variawa has only made two appearances so far this year, sharing his class A Cornbake Racing Jimco with Zaheer Bodhanya, and they scored their first points on the recent Toyota 1000 Desert Race, finishing second in class. They are well behind in both the overall and class points' standings.

Second overall in the Production Vehicle class drivers' championship is Shumie van Vuuren in his Castrol Toyota Land Cruiser. The works-supported privateer has dominated class D this year with three wins out of four races and is 11 points ahead of Piet Haasbroek (Castrol Toyota Land Cruiser), who is also third in the overall co-drivers' competition. Mark Corbett is third in class D after a fine first class win in the Toyota 1000 Desert Race in the works Petronas Syntium Isuzu KB Double Cab.

Christo Bosch, Haasbroek's co-driver, is second and 22 points behind ter Stege in the Production Vehicle co-drivers' championship. A further four points back is former champion Richard Leeke, co-driver to former drivers' champion Hannes Grobler in the works class T Nissan Hardbody Double Cab. Grobler is fourth overall in the drivers' championship, just four points behind Haasbroek.

Consistency has seen Carolin and ter Stege take the lead in the closely contested class T for the crowd-pleasing Super Trucks by 14 points, despite the fact they are still to win the class outright. A win apiece for Hannes Grobler and team-mate Giniel de Villiers in the works Nissan Hardbodies (in the Mitsubishi Barberspan 500 and Nissan Sugarbelt 400 events respectively) sees them in second and third place respectively, just eight points apart.

Reigning class T champion Neil Woolridge scored his first class win of the year in the Toyota 1000 Desert Race in his works Ford Ranger and is fourth in the championship, three points behind De Villiers.

De Villiers' team-mate Francois Jordaan is third in the co-drivers standings behind ter Stege and Leeke, with Woolridge's co-driver Kenny Skjoldhammer fourth.

Leading class E by just five points is Coetzee Labuschagne in his Raysonic Toyota Hilux after scoring in all four past events. Second, after back-to-back wins in the last two events is Manfred Schroeder in the works Ford Ranger. Third is reigning champion Andrew Birkin (Castrol Toyota Hilux).

Piet Heunis (Toyota Hilux) leads the co-drivers' championship, followed by Jack Peckham (Ford Ranger) and Chris Birkin (Toyota Hilux).

MSA Off Road

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Giniel de Villiers , Mark Corbett