Series newsletter 2010-07-25

VISSER/BADENHORST STAY TOP OF PRODUCTION VEHICLE CHAMPIONSHIP Damage control at the Sun City 400, round four of the Absa Off Road Championship, has kept privateer Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst at the top of the Production Vehicle ...

VISSER/BADENHORST STAY TOP OF PRODUCTION VEHICLE CHAMPIONSHIP

Damage control at the Sun City 400, round four of the Absa Off Road Championship, has kept privateer Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst at the top of the Production Vehicle leaderboard.

Visser and Badenhorst, in the RFS Toyota Hilux, rolled during the Donaldson Prologue at Sun City and were forced to start from the back of the field. A spirited fight back saw them finish seventh overall with the pair earning enough points to eke out a 13 point championship lead.

Behind Visser and Badenhorst a dogfight is developing. Reigning drivers' champion Duncan Vos and Rob Howie (Team Castrol Toyota Hilux) are just one point ahead of Hannes Grobler/Hennie ter Stege (RFS BMW), who picked up their first non finish of the year at Sun City, and the Ford Racing pair of Neil Woolridge and Kenny Skjoldhammer.

Sun City winners Terence Marsh and Buks Carolin rocker from 12th to fourth in the championship in the Regent Racing Nissan Navara and are only another five points adrift. Also still in the championship frame are Gary Bertholdt and Andre Vermeulen (Atlas Copco Toyota Hilux) and the ultra consistent Mike Whitehouse/Matthew Carlson (Regent Racing Nissan Navara) who are locked together in fifth place.

Differences in points allocations for overall and class results see a slightly different state of affairs in the premier SP Class. Here the top three positions remain the same with Whitehouse/Carlson, the only team with a 100 percent finish record, in fourth place ahead of Marsh and Carolin.

Reigning champions Dewald van Breda and Johann du Toit, in the Northam Toyota Hilux, have a tight hold on Class D. A win at Sun City in their first outing of the season lifted Deon Venter and Ian Palmer, in the 4x4 Mega World Toyota Hilux, into second place.

Down in Class E a second win of the season has lifted teenager Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable, in the factory Ford Racing Ranger, into a comfortable lead. Woolridge, the son of Neil, and Huxtable now have a 16 point lead over Pikkie Labuschagne and Rikus Erasmus in the 4x4 Mega World Toyota Hilux.

The Ruwacon Racing Ford Ranger pair of Gerald le Roux and Willem Pretorius are only four points behind Labuschagne and Erasmus. The top three crews have all won events this season.

In the SA Manufacturers Championship it is no contest with Toyota (310) building up a huge lead over Ford who have 118 points. Nissan, who withdrew from off road racing at the end of last season, are third with 91 points.

The next round of the championship is the 4x4 Mega World 400 at Carnival City on the East Rand on August 27 and 28.

VARIAWA/ROUSSEAU EXTEND SPECIAL VEHICLE CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD

Team Total crew Shameer Variawa and Siegfried Rousseau consolidated their position at the top of the Special Vehicle championship at the Sun City 400, round four of the Absa Off Road Championship, over the weekend.

Variawa and Rousseau finished second for the second year in a row and now have an 18 point lead over Class P crew Johan van Staden and James Rossouw in the Atlas Copco BAT. Van Staden/Rossouw finished third behind former South African champions Karl-Heinz and Quintin Sullwald (Elegant Fuel BAT) who jump into third place in the overall championship.

The Sun City race saw Variawa and Rousseau work their way into second place at the designated service point. Halfway through the second and final loop of the race they decided to stop chasing the Sullwald's and settle for a safe second place.

Nick Harper (Atlas Copco BAT) is fourth in the driver stakes and is followed by reigning champion Evan Hutchison (Motorite BAT) and Herman Sullwald (Sullwald Racing SVR) who are tied for fifth. With Ryan Harper missing the Sun City 400 through injury Achim Bergmann and Wichard Sullwald share fourth place among the co-drivers - although Bergmann has parted company with Hutchison and was replaced by off road motorcycle star Darryl Curtis.

Differences in the allocation of overall and class points produces a slightly different situation in Class A. Here Variawa/Rousseau lead Herman and Wichard Sullwald with Harper third among the drivers and Quintin Sullwald third in the co-driver stakes.

The van Staden/Rossouw combination, who earlier this season made history by becoming the first Class P crew to win an event overall, have a comfortable 19 point lead over Archie Rutherford and former Springbok water polo player Craig Doubtfire in the Regent Racing Jimco.

Rutherford and Doubtfire salvaged valuable points with fourth place at Sun City. Behind them only one point separates Mark Corbett/Rudi Balzer (Century Racing CR3) and Swaziland crew John Thomson and Clinton McNamara (Zarco) who were an impressive second at Sun City.

A victory first time out this season lifts Bes Bezuidenhout and daughter-in-law Lindie into joint first place in Class B. Reigning champion Derrick du Toit missed the Sun City race while Adre Rheeder, who won the first race of the year with du Toit, has not raced since.

Tied for second place are Marius Nicholson/Rod Jeffrey (Orange Tree Raceco) and brothers Hamish and Alistair Stubbs in a Viper. Both crews have competed in only one event this season.

The next round of the Absa championship is the 4x4 Mega World 400 at Carnival City on the East Rand on August 27 and 28.

-source: saorc

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Series Other rally
Drivers Ian Palmer , Mark Corbett , Darryl Curtis , Duncan Vos , Japie Badenhorst