RFS CREW LEAD PRODUCTION VEHICLE CHAMPIONSHIP Former champions Hannes Grobler and Hennie ter Stege have taken the overall lead in the Production Vehicle category after two events in the Absa Off Road Championship. Grobler and ter Stege, in the...
RFS CREW LEAD PRODUCTION VEHICLE CHAMPIONSHIP
Former champions Hannes Grobler and Hennie ter Stege have taken the overall lead in the Production Vehicle category after two events in the Absa Off Road Championship.
Grobler and ter Stege, in the RFS Toyota Hilux, are one of only two crews in the premier SP Class to have finished both the Adenco 400 and the recent Toyota Dealer 400. A third place in the Western Cape and second in Mpumalanga has lifted Grobler and ter Stege into a nine point lead at the top of the overall standings.
Second place is shared by Adenco 400 winners Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst (RFS/Visser Transport Toyota Hilux) and Ford Racing Ranger pair Neil Woolridge and Kenny Skjoldhammer who scored an historic win on the Toyota Dealer 400. It was a first ever victory for a diesel powered car in the Absa championship.
There is also a tie for third place with Gary Bertholdt/ Andre Vermeulen (Atlas Copco Toyota Hilux) and Free State pair Louw de Bruin and Riaan Greyling, in the Ruwacon Ford Ranger, locked together. De Bruin and Greyling are the only other SP Class crew to have finished both events.
Fourth in the overall standings are reigning driver's champion Duncan Vos and Rob Howie in the Team Castrol Toyota Hilux. Behind them there is another tie for fifth place between Anthony Taylor and Robin Houghton in the second Castrol Toyota entry, and the husband and wife team of Ramon and Maret Bezuidenhout in the Red Star Raceway Toyota Hilux.
There is a slightly different picture in the SP Class standings because of differences in points allocations for overall and class finishes. Here Grobler/ter Stege stay ahead of Visser/Badenhorst and Woolridge/Skjoldhammer but de Bruin/Greyling move into third place on their own with Bertholdt/Vermeulen and Vos/Howie fourth and fifth.
With new Super D Class cars in the pipeline there were no starters in the category on the Toyota Dealer 400. The championship is led by Dewald van Breda/Johann du Toit (Northam Toyota D4D) by virtue on a win on the Adenco 400.
There is also a tie at the top of Class E. Adenco 400 winners Gerald le Roux/Willem Pretorius (Ruwacon Ford Ranger) and Toyota Dealer 400 winners Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable (Ford Racing Ranger) share top spot.
The Toyota Dealer victory gave Woolridge, son of former SA champion Neil, his maiden national victory.
The next event on the Absa Off Road Championship calendar is the Sugarbelt 400 in KwaZulu-Natal on May 21 and 22.
CLASS P CREW TAKE OVERALL LEAD IN ABSA OFF ROAD CHAMPIONSHIP
For the first time since the introduction of the category one year ago a Class P crew is leading the Special Vehicle overall standings in the Absa Off Road Championship.
An historic overall win on the recent Toyota Dealer 400 and fifth on the Adenco 400 has given the KEC BAT crew an 11 point lead at the top of the championship. Victory for the Pretoria-based crew on the Toyota event was the first by a Class P crew in the Absa series.
A win on the Adenco 400 in the Western Cape keeps former champion Shameer Variawa and Siegfried Rousseau (Team Total Porter) in the second place in the overall championship. They have a one point lead over the father and son team of Herman and Wichard Sullwald (Sullwald Racing SVR) in a car that, ironically, is built by Variawa Racing.
Fourth in the overall stakes are Colin Matthews and Alan Smith (Century Racing BAT) with reliability woes again hampering the pair in Mpumalanga. A second Class P crew also features in the top five with two consistent results from Archie Rutherford and Craig Doubtfire (Regent Racing Jimco) leaving them a single point adrift of Matthews and Smith.
Vagaries in off road scoring paint a slightly different picture in Class A. Here the Sullwald's lead Variawa/Rousseau and Brandon Harcus, who by virtue of two finishes in the JMR Fleet Management BAT, joins Variawa in a tie in the driver stakes.
Two finishes also lift Limpopo crew Naeem Moosajee and Rayhaan Bodhanya (Maxxis Jimco) into third ahead of Matthews/Smith and Nick and Ryan Harper in the Atlas Copco BAT. Current champions Evan Hutchison and Achim Bergmann (Motorite BAT) and Jimmy Zahos/Stefan Coetzee (Cobalt Racing Porter) are tied for fifth.
A win on the Adenco 400 and a non finish on the Toyota event leave reigning champion Derick du Toit (Orange Tree BAT) at the top of the Class B driver standings. Marius Nicholson (Orange Tree Sandmaster) and Toyota Dealer 400 winner Hamish Stubbs (Stafix Viper) share second place among the drivers.
Adre Rheeder, who sat alongside du Toit on the Adenco 400, leads the co-driver title race ahead of Rod Jeffrey and Alistair Stubbs. Jeffrey co-drove with Nicholson on the Adenco 400 and with du Toit on the Toyota event.
At the top of Class P the van Staden/Rossouw combination have a handy early season cushion of 11 points. Second are Rutherford and Doubtfire with former champions Richard Schilling and Chris Davies in third place.
Next on the calendar is the Sugarbelt 400 in KwaZulu-Natal on May 21 and 22. The event will again be based at the Beaumont Eston Farmer's Club on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg.