Sugarbelt 400 final summary

TEAM FORD RACING WINS NISSAN SUGARBELT 400 Team Ford Racing's Neil Woolridge and Ken Skjoldhammer got their 2005 Absa Off Road Championship campaign off to a good start when they won the season opening Nissan Sugarbelt 400 in Eston, Kwa-Zulu...

TEAM FORD RACING WINS NISSAN SUGARBELT 400

Team Ford Racing's Neil Woolridge and Ken Skjoldhammer got their 2005 Absa Off Road Championship campaign off to a good start when they won the season opening Nissan Sugarbelt 400 in Eston, Kwa-Zulu Natal today.

The former Production Vehicle champions started third behind reigning Class D champions Alfie Cox and Ralph Pitchford in the Proudly South African Nissan Hardbody previously raced by Giniel de Villiers and Duncan Vos in Class T and reigning Production Vehicle Drivers Champion Hannes Grobler and Francois Jordaan in the Nissan Hardbody.

Cox and Pitchford led for the first 90km of the race but were delayed by a faulty battery, which allowed Grobler and Jordaan to grab the lead, which they then lost to the Team Ford Racing crew when they picked up a puncture 69km from the finish. Cox and Pitchford's race came to end when a rear prop shaft broken and damaged a gearbox pump.

A titanic battle ensued with Grobler and Jordaan piling on the pressure but Woolridge and Skjoldhammer held on to cross the finish line 17 seconds ahead of the Nissan pair.

Gary Bertholdt and Siegfried Rousseau led the Special Vehicle category from start to finish in the Advansoft BAT and initially had to fend off his brother Bevan and co-driver Nick Selemolela in the Itec BAT, John Weir-Smith and Geoff Minnitt in the Kopanong Hotel Superteam Jimco and John Moore and Graham Maclachlan in the Connix Chenowth.

Weir-Smith and Minnitt retired when the oil cooler on the Jimco burst, Bertholdt and Selemolela rolled into the sugar cane and picked up a puncture and Moore and Maclachlan had a clean run and finished fourth overall and second in the Special vehicle category.

Kwa-Zulu Natal based Manfred Schroder and Alec Harris finished fifth overall, third in the Production Vehicle category and first in Class D after a flawless run in the Team Ford Racing Ranger.

Clint Gibson and Marcelle Trethewey finished sixth overall and third in Class A in the Gibson Plant Hire BAT and were followed across the line by Bevan Bertholdt and Nick Selemolela in the Itec BAT and Class B winners Evan Hutchison and Trevor Ormerod in the Motorite BAT.

Father and son Cliff and Louis Weichelt finished ninth overall and second in Class D in the Bosal N1 4X4 Toyota Hilux with Class E winners Hugo and Jaap de Bruyn tenth in the Castrol Toyota Hilux 2.7i.

-msa-

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Giniel de Villiers , Alfie Cox , John Moore , Ralph Pitchford