BANKFIN OFF ROAD CHAMPIONSHIP CLEAN SWEEP FOR NISSAN MOTORSPORT ON TOYOTA DEALER 400 The Nissan Motorsport team dominated the Toyota Dealer 400, round five of the Bankfin Off Road Championship at Sun City this weekend. Reigning Production ...
BANKFIN OFF ROAD CHAMPIONSHIP
CLEAN SWEEP FOR NISSAN MOTORSPORT ON TOYOTA DEALER 400
The Nissan Motorsport team dominated the Toyota Dealer 400, round five of the Bankfin Off Road Championship at Sun City this weekend.
Reigning Production Vehicle Champions Giniel de Villiers and Francois Jordaan in the Class T Nissan Hard Body trounced the opposition to finish over seven minutes ahead of team mates Hannes Grobler and Richard Leeke.
Neil Woolridge and Kenny Skjoldhammer in the Ford Racing Ranger finished third overall and third in the Production Vehicle Category, over 14 minutes behind de Villiers who is a multiple Bankfin Touring Car Champion.
Fourth in the Production Vehicle Category and in Class T went to multiple former champions Apie Reyneke and Robin Houghton in the Castrol Toyota Land Cruiser. They were plagued by brake problems throughout the event, which dropped them out of contention for overall victory.
The Nissan Motorsport dominance continued when Bankfin Off Road Championship leaders Duncan Vos and Mike Griffiths crossed the finish line 5th overall and first in Class D in their Nissan Hard Body. This was the third class win of the season for the former Bankfin Touring Car Championship driver.
Second in Class D belonged to husband and wife team Marius and Tracey van Vuuren in the Alberante Land Rover with brothers Henri and Maurice Zermatten third in the Playstation Mitsubishi Pajero.
The cherry on the cake for Nissan Motorsport was a win in Class E for brothers Jurie and Andre du Plessis in the B&B Auto Nissan Hard Body.
Second in Class E were Piet Heunis and Coetzee Labuschagne in the N1 4X4 Toyota Hilux with last placed finishers Hennie Wellman and FJ Wellman third in their 1988 Mazda bakkie.
Class E championship leaders Manfred Schroder and Jack Peckham would far rather forget the Toyota Dealer 400. The KwaZulu Natal cane farmers charge came to a dramatic end when they rolled their diesel powered Ford Racing Ranger into a donga, at walking pace. The only way the vehicle could be extricated was with the aid of a large front-end loader, which lifted the Ford out of the donga and deposited it onto a specially prepared soft gravel surface to minimise damage to the vehicle.
The Special Vehicle Category produced plenty of drama.
Atang Makgekgenene and Alec Salley in the SAM Racing Jimco were the fastest qualifiers in the Prologue and took the overall lead on lap one of the event, which provided a route that was a true test of man and machine.
The Botswana businessman blew his chances when he rolled the Jimco and lost valuable time, allowing the O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel 500 winners, Laurence and Gerhard du Plessis in the Mobil Jimco, in which Makgekgenene won the Barberspan 500 earlier this year, to romp home to overall victory in the Special Vehicle Category.
Makgekgenene and Salley finished third, almost 19 minutes behind two times Special Vehicle champions Greg Harvey and Boy Stone in the Castrol Queen Motor Spares Jimco.
Former Special Vehicle champion Shameer Variawa and Zeyn Moolla's race ended prematurely when a snake found its way into the cockpit of the Cornbake Racing Jimco. Variawa was bitten and, sensibly, he elected to retire in favour of seeking medical assistance.
Championship contender John Weir-Smith, with new co-driver Geoff Minnitt, picked up power steering problems before the start and were forced to effect repairs and start the Toyota Dealer 400 30 minutes after the last car had left.
A storming drive saw the O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam crew finish fourth in Class A, thereby keeping Weir-Smith's drivers' championship hopes alive.
Overall Special Vehicle Championship contenders and winners of the Toyota 1000 Desert Race, Greg Daus and Archie Rutherford, survived front brake problems to bring their Nashua Mobile Raceco home 11th overall and first in Class S.
The Class B win went to Marcus Taylor and Marc de Chalain in the Truck Time JRE with reigning Class B champion Giel Nel second in the Luk Afrika Truggy.
Husband and wife team Gert and Lucille du Plessis, whose sons won the Special Vehicle category, have a combined age of 113 and finished 14th overall and 5th in Class A.
Only 27 of the 64 starters managed to finish the Toyota Dealer 400 at Sun City.