Sugarbelt: Round two preview

North versus South battle looms on Nissan Sugarbelt 400. A north versus south battle is looming in the most populated class on the Nissan Sugarbelt 400 in KwaZulu-Natal on May 10 and 11. Class B in the Special Vehicle category on what is the...

North versus South battle looms on Nissan Sugarbelt 400.

A north versus south battle is looming in the most populated class on the Nissan Sugarbelt 400 in KwaZulu-Natal on May 10 and 11.

Class B in the Special Vehicle category on what is the second round of the Bankfin Off-Road Championship, has drawn an entry of 33 cars with more than half of them from KZN competitors. This sets up an inter-provincial clash with plenty of rivalry on offer between the locals and visitors to the Kingdom of the Zulu.

The visitors will know, too, that a KwaZulu-Natal crew, Gavan Gray and Brian Scott from Pietermaritzburg, who will tackle the Nissan Sugarbelt 400 in the Powerflow Raceco, won the opening round of the battle. In taking the Class B honours and fourth overall on the Barberspan 500, the opening round of the Bankfin Off-road Championship, Gray and Scott threw down the gauntlet to the likes of reigning champion Giel Nel, in the LUK Afrika Truggy, and other championship hopefuls.

With back-up from well known husband and wife team Vincent and Louis Trethewey, in a Chenowth, and the string of other KZN entrants, local off-road enthusiasts will be confident of a home victory. Nel, and a couple of other drivers, will have different ideas.

The veteran Nel failed to finish the Barberspan 500 and will be keen to bounce back. The East Rand driver is a wily and experienced campaigner, but there are other serious challengers where Gray/Scott and company are concerned.

The father and son team of Rob and Gareth Wark, in the Superpave Mighty Mag, provide a blend of youth and experience. Other family pairings see Bes and Deon Bezuidenhout out in another Chenowth, with Max and Hein Mohr in the Industrial Hardware WPP Footloose and both crews will fancy their chances.

Henry Kirstein and Renier Jooste, in a Secoroc Raceco, also have plenty of experience while at the other end of the scale there will be plenty of interest in the progress of track racing star James Kennerley. A former motorcycle racer and Vodacom Sports Prototype driver, Kennerley will be out in a Sandmaster and his appearance is indicative of the interest off-road racing is attracting from drivers from other categories of South African motorsport.

-msa-

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