Superteam Botswana 1000 preview

The O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam is preparing to launch a major onslaught on the Toyota 1000 Desert Race, round three of the SA Off Road Championship - presented by Bankfin, Absa's specialist vehicle and asset finance division - in Botswana...

The O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam is preparing to launch a major onslaught on the Toyota 1000 Desert Race, round three of the SA Off Road Championship - presented by Bankfin, Absa's specialist vehicle and asset finance division - in Botswana from June 13-15.

The Midrand based Superteam comprises four cars, three of which compete in the Special Vehicle category and one in the Production Vehicle category.

Superteam co-founder and two time winner of the Special Vehicle category in 2002, John Weir-Smith and co-driver Geoff Minnitt have had a dismal start to the 2003 season with the BMW 540 V8 engine fitted to their O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam Jimco failing on the season opening Nissan Dealer 400 in the Western Cape and the recent Nissan Sugarbelt 400 in KwaZulu Natal, which Weir-Smith won last year.

"Overheating has been identified as the problem on the BMW engine", said Weir-Smith. "Superteam technicians are hard at work fitting a new motor and finding a solution to the overheating maladies and we hope to be ultra-competitive on the Toyota 1000 Desert Race".

Nic Goslar and Glen Steyn made up for a disappointing non-finish on the Nissan Dealer 400 by winning Class S for Special Vehicles fitted with beam or trailing arm front suspensions on the Nissan Sugarbelt 400. The pair now leads the Class championship and is intent on picking up another class win in the O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam Raceco on the Toyota 1000 Desert Race.

Father and son Rob and Gareth Wark share driving duties in the single-seater O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam Mighty Mag, which is entered in the highly competitive Class B for 2 litre Special Vehicles. They did not make the trip to the Western Cape and failed to finish in KwaZulu because of steering problems on the Mighty Mag.

Superteam co-founder Andre Botha and Beans Heydenrych made their off road racing debut on the Nissan Sugarbelt 400 in the newly rebuilt O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam Chevrolet, which competes in Class F for 2-wheel drive Super Trucks.

Botha misjudged a tricky corner and planted the Chevrolet into a ditch but was assisted in getting back on the road by outsiders, which is deemed to be against the rules and decided to withdraw from the race.

"Although we only completed 56km of the race it was an awesome experience for Beans and I", said Botha. "Neither of us have ever been involved in competitive motorsport and initially found the experience a little intimidating but soon settled into the swing of things".

"The O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam has regrouped and will be ready to launch a major onslaught in Botswana and is aiming for four class wins on the Toyota 1000 Desert Race", added Botha.

The Toyota 1000 Desert Race gets underway with a Prologue on Friday, May 13, which will determine starting positions for the main event. Crews leave Gaborone at 08h00 on Saturday, May 14 and overnight, after 500km of tough racing, at Mashwabisi before heading back to Gaborone the following morning at 08H00.

-msa-

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