DEFENDING CHAMPIONS OFF TO A GOOD START The 2005 national off-road champions, Terence Marsh and Michael Whitehouse, made an excellent start to the 2006 season with a good result at the opening round of the championship, the Nissan...
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS OFF TO A GOOD START
The 2005 national off-road champions, Terence Marsh and Michael Whitehouse, made an excellent start to the 2006 season with a good result at the opening round of the championship, the Nissan Dealers 400 in the Western Cape.
After being held up by slower traffic in the qualifying session and losing in excess of two minutes on the leaders, they had to start the main race from fifth position. Marsh and Whitehouse in their Nashua Mobile BAT Spec-1 began cautiously and drove a consistent pace as the route was dry and dusty making overtaking very difficult and extremely dangerous. Unfortunately after 50km of the race they suffered gearbox problems and lost 2nd gear leaving Marsh no option but to back off and conserve the gearbox in order to finish. This strategy began working immediately as the majority of the competitors fell out the event within the first 100km.
Competing in the extremely competitive Class A for special frame vehicle with no technical limitations, the defending champions eventually settled into a comfortable second position and decided to take it easy and finish thereby scoring valuable points. This strategy worked perfectly as they finished in a superb second place overall and second in Class A. This result puts navigator Whitehouse on top of the Navigator's Championship in the Special Vehicle Category as the winner, Brandon Harcus, won the race in a single-seater BAT Spec-1.
It was a dream debut for the second Nashua Mobile Racing entry, Archie Rutherford and Craig Doubtfire, as they managed to finish seventh overall and win Class S in the process in their three litre V6 Nissan-powered Raceco. Although Rutherford has some racing experience behind him, it was Doubtfire's first race in the navigation seat which makes their result that much better.
According to Marsh, who was elated with the results, it once again proved that the race starts in the workshop. "Graeme Thornton and his team prepared the two race vehicles with immaculate precision and except for the gearbox problems, the cars performed faultlessly in what proved to be a tough opening event," Marsh said after the event.
The Nashua Mobile racing team will now begin preparing the vehicles for the second round of the Absa Off-road Championship, the Nissan Sugarbelt 400, which will take place on 5 and 6 May in the Pietermaritzburg area in KwaZulu-Natal.