Post-Desert Race point standings report

Interesting changes in Bankfin Off-Road Championship points. The recent Toyota 1000 Desert Race in Botswana, round three of the Bankfin Off-Road Championship, has produced some interesting changes in the points positions in the various ...

Interesting changes in Bankfin Off-Road Championship points.

The recent Toyota 1000 Desert Race in Botswana, round three of the Bankfin Off-Road Championship, has produced some interesting changes in the points positions in the various championship categories.

Vryburg farmers Piet Haasbroek and Christo Bosch, in the Castrol Toyota Land Cruiser, and Nashua Mobile Raceco pair Greg Daus and Trevor Ormerod still lead the Production Vehicle and Special Vehicle overall standings, but elsewhere in the various categories there have been interesting changes.

In the Production Vehicle category fourth overall and the Class D win in Botswana, have rocketed Nissan Motorsport pair Duncan Vos and Mike Griffiths into second place behind Haasbroek and Bosch. Only four points now separate the two crews, and this will be a battle to watch over the remainder of the season.

Surprise packages Hugo and Jaap de Bruyn, in a Toyota Hilux, still hold down third place but now have Toyota 1000 Desert Race winners Hannes Grobler and Richard Leeke, in the factory Nissan Hardbody, breathing down their necks. Only four points separate Grobler and Leeke from the next three crews -- Apie Reyneke/Robin Houghton, Mark Corbett/Juan Mohr and Neil Woolridge/Kenny Skjoldhammer -- and, once again, matters are starting to hot up.

After three Class S wins in a row -- and overall victory in Botswana -- Daus has a clear lead in the Special Vehicle drivers championship. He leads Giel Nel by 24 points but only seven points separate Nel, Greg Harvey and Billy Bond and once again matters are starting to look interesting.

Boy Stone, sharing the Castrol Queen Motor Spares Jimco with Harvey, leads the Special Vehicle co-drivers championship ahead of Anton Lombard, who partners Bond in the Prolong Raceco, Tony George and Trevor Ormerod who sat alongside Daus in the first two events of the season.

On the class front in the Special Vehicle category dropping out of the Botswana race had repercussions for O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam BMW Jimco pair John Weir-Smith and George. They drop to third in the class A standings behind the consistent Greg Harvey/Boy Stone (Castrol Queen Motorspares Jimco) and Terence Marsh and Trevor Ahier in the Nashua Mobile Jimco.

Consistency is also once again paying off for veteran Nel (LUK Afrika Truggy) who is the reigning Class B champion. He leads the class B drivers standings from KwaZulu-Natalian Marcus Taylor (Truck Time YSCO) with Marc de Chalain, who sits alongside Taylor, leading the co-drivers standings.

Class S is Daus territory and he is a whopping 28 points clear of closest challengers Bond and John Lambert in the Digidoor. The Toyota 1000 Desert Race triumph gave Daus his second national championship win, and he looks set to romp away with the Class S championship.

Matters are also starting to look interesting in the premier Class T standings, and in Class D. Only three points separate Grobler/Leeke, the Team Castrol Toyota Land Crusier pairing of Reyneke/Houghton and the Ford Racing combination of Neil Woolridge and Kenny Skjoldhammer in Class T, and the same margin separates Haasbroek/Bosch and Vos/Griffiths in Class D.

The father and son pairing of Hugo and Jaap de Bruyn have a little breathing space in Class E. They lead reigning champions Manfred Schroder and Jack Peckham (Ford Racing Ranger), who took the Botswana win, by 11 points with Team Castrol Toyota Condor pair Kassie Coetzee and Okkie Fourie next up.

In the prestige South African Manufacturers Championship, a tight battle is also developing between Toyota and Nissan. Reigning champions Toyota (262) currently hold the upperhand with a 58 point advantage, with the two well clear of Ford (105) and Land Rover with 86 points.

"One always suspected that matters in various categories this year would be closely contested," said Motorsport SA Off-Road Car Racing Commission president Piet Swanepoel. "That is exactly what is happening, and with the season approaching the halfway mark the remaining events are going to be very interesting.

"Once again we have the prospect of championship battles going all the way to the wire, and that will help sustain interest in the Bankfin Off Road Championship that has already captured the imagination."

-msa-

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Series Other rally
Drivers Tony George , Mark Corbett , Duncan Vos