The four car O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam is hoping for better results in the second half of the SA Off Road Championship... presented by Absa and will be well prepared for the forthcoming Queen Motor Spares Tarka 400 on August 22 and ...
The four car O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam is hoping for better results in the second half of the SA Off Road Championship... presented by Absa and will be well prepared for the forthcoming Queen Motor Spares Tarka 400 on August 22 and 23.
John Weir-Smith and Geoff Minnitt spearhead the Superteam challenge in the premier Class A in the Special Vehicle category and have had a season they would rather forget. Three engine failures in four races have proved to be a major setback and their overall win on the Toyota 1000 in Botswana was small compensation for what has been a frustrating year.
"We have sourced another BMW 540 V8 engine for the Jimco and employed the services of a specialist engine builder who will hopefully overcome the problems we have experienced this year," said John Weir-Smith. "Geoff and I were the fastest qualifiers and won the Special Vehicle category overall on last year's Queen Motor Spares Tarka 400 and are confident that we can repeat this feat provided the engine stays together."
Despite two non-finishes in the Superteam Raceco Porsche Nic Goslar and Glen Steyn lead the Class S championship for special vehicles with trailing arm front suspensions from Mohammed Noor and Mohammed Moultsen in a similar vehicle.
"Glen and I have had a great season together but regretfully he has emigrated to Australia and I will have a new co-driver in the form of fellow off road enduro motorcyclist Warren Bowie for the rest of the season," said Nic Goslar. "The battle for the Class S championship is really tight and I am confident that we can maintain our lead over our Botswana based rivals as well as Frikkie Botha and Melvill Priest in the Sandton Off Road Accessories Raceco."
The O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam's Class B contenders, father and son Rob and Gareth Wark have been plagued all year by power steering problems on the Mighty Mag single-seater, which has seen them finish only one event this year.
"Nothing we have done so far has cured the power steering problem and, to be frank, we are at our wit's end," said Gareth Wark, who will be campaigning solo for the rest of the year due to father Rob not being able to race because of a back injury. "We've fitted a manual steering rack and reduced the pressure on the power steering pump and hopefully the problem will be a thing of the past."
O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam co-founder Andre Botha and business partner Beans Heydenrych made their off road racing debut this year and campaign the American built Chevrolet Silverado in Class F for two wheel drive vehicles. They have yet to finish a race and for them it has been a steep learning curve.
"Beans and I have had a great time and are learning more and more on each event," said Andre Botha. "Unfortunately we put the vehicle into a ditch on the Nissan Sugarbelt 400, had the starter motor fail on the Toyota 1000 and rolled on the Oven Fresh Biscuits 500 so it hasn't been a very auspicious debut for us."
"Our primary objective is to finish a race, which we came so close to achieving on the Toyota 1000, and then we can concentrate on challenging for a class win," added Botha.
Things can only get better for O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam and the Queen Motor Spares Tarka 400 could well see a change in its fortunes.