Sugarbelt 400 Prologue summary

NISSAN PAIR DOMINATE NISSAN SUGARBELT 400 PROLOGUE Proudly South African Nissan Navara crews Duncan Vos/Ralph Pitchford and Hannes Grobler/Francois du Plessis today dominated the prologue for the Nissan Sugarbelt 400, round two of the Absa...

NISSAN PAIR DOMINATE NISSAN SUGARBELT 400 PROLOGUE

Proudly South African Nissan Navara crews Duncan Vos/Ralph Pitchford and Hannes Grobler/Francois du Plessis today dominated the prologue for the Nissan Sugarbelt 400, round two of the Absa Off Road Championship, in KwaZulu-Natal tomorrow.

The two Nissan crews set the fastest time in the Production Vehicle category in the 40 kilometre prologue to determined start positions for tomorrow's race proper. Vos/Pitchford led the veteran Grobler/Jordaan pairing by 25 seconds and will be the first car away at the 08h00 start.

Grobler and Jordaan shared the same time as Brandon Harcus, in the Motorite BAT singleseater, who set the fastest time in the Special Vehicle category on the Nissan Dealer 400. Grobler and Jordaan won the Production Vehicle category on the Nissan Dealer 400 in the Western Cape, the opening event of the championship, while Harcus won the Special vehicle category.

Third fastest in the Production Vehicle category were former Class E champions Mark Cronje and Chris Birkin in the Castrol Toyota Hilux V6. The two Nissans and the Toyota are running in the new Super Production Class and will lock horns with the Ford Racing Ranger crewed by former South African champions Neil Woolridge and Kenny Skjoldhammer.

First in Class D were Cliff and Louis Weichelt, in the Bosal Toyota Hilux who came in ahead of Arnold du Plessis/Johan Knox, in the BB Auto Nissan Hardbody, and reigning Class E champions Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst in the Tyco Trucks Toyota Hilux. The three crews were separated by just over a minute with Coetzee Labuschagne and Johan Gerber, in the Raysonics Nissan Hardbody, snapping at their heels.

Reigning Class D drivers champion Manfred Schroeder, paired with Jack Peckham in the factory Ford Racing Ranger, completely dominated Class E. They were around four minutes ahead of brothers Mark and Stuart Moffat -- the reigning Class F champions in a Land Rover - who are having their first outing in a Class E Bosal Toyota Hilux.

A string of Toyota Hilux entries, including the Castrol Toyota Hilux of Brian Martin and Ockie Fourie, slotted in behind the Moffat's. Martin and Fourie won the opening event of the year. Leading Class F were Andre Botha and Richard Carolin in the Kopanong Hotel Superteam Chev Silverado.

On the Special Vehicle and Class A front Harcus was followed by Motorite BAT team-mates Evan Hutchison and Achim Bergman. Next up were privateers Will Battershill and Reg Sutton who came up with a terrific performance in a Jimco.

The fastest time in Class B came from local crew Marcus Taylor and Marc de Chalain in a JRE. The former champions came in ahead of Swaziland crew John Thompson and Clint McNamara in a Zarco, with brothers Rudi and Pierre van Graan next up in the Technochair Zarco Lite.

Nashua Mobile BAT pair Archie Rutherford and Craig Doubtfire, winners of the opening event of the season, set the pace in Class S. Not far behind, however, were reigning champions Richard Schilling and Chris Davies in the Plastotech Aceco, with Glenn Gibson next up in a singleseater Raceco.

-msa-

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Series Other rally
Drivers Ralph Pitchford , John Thompson , Duncan Vos