Zarco Botswana 1000 summary

ZARCO MADE OFF-ROAD HISTORY IN BOTSWANA The South African off-road racing vehicle manufacturer, Zarco, made history in Botswana when it won its first national off-road race while it was also the first time this local...

ZARCO MADE OFF-ROAD HISTORY IN BOTSWANA

The South African off-road racing vehicle manufacturer, Zarco, made history in Botswana when it won its first national off-road race while it was also the first time this local special vehicle manufacturer won the gruelling Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race.

The 450Hp LS1-powered Zarco Magnum in the hands of seasoned off-road racing driver, Karl-Heinz Sullwald, won the Special Vehicle category of the 27th Toyota 1000 Desert Race that took place from 15 to 17 June in Botswana after leading the race from day two.

Sullwald, partnered by his 20-year old son, Quintin, a Matie student who navigated for the second time ever and for whom this marathon desert race was a new experience, fought a race long battle with 2006 winners, Nick and his son, Ryan Harper, in another locally built vehicle (BAT).

In the end it was the Zarco Magnum, however, who received the chequered flag after three days of intensive racing over almost a thousand kilometres in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana. This result gave Zarco, a young company established in 2003 in Germiston, Johannesburg, its first national race victory while the name Zarco will now also be written in the history books as winners of one of the most testing off-road races on the Absa Off-road Championship calendar.

Karl-Heinz Sullwald is no newcomer to the desert race and he has completed this race now for the third consecutive year - in 2005 he finished with a Mighty Mag single-seater and in 2006 he was sixth in the Special Vehicle category.

Karl-Heinz Sullwald and his brother, Hermann are no newcomers to the off- road racing scene and has been racing since 1991. With Hermann behind the wheel and Karl-Heinz giving the directions, they won the Special Vehicle Cross Country and overall drivers and navigators championships in 1994 after winning almost every event on the calendar.

After a sabbatical of 10 years due to family and business commitments, the two brothers entered the racing scene again in 2005 and tackled the 2006 season in all earnest with two privately entered Class A Zarco Magnum vehicles. The team, who has to travel all the way from Phalaborwa, acquainted themselves with the intricacies of the extremely competitive and demanding off-road racing scene, but immediately showed that they meant business.

They used the 2005 season as a run-up for 2006 when they entered a team consisting of two vehicles with brother Hermann behind the wheel of the one Zarco Magnum and Karl-Heinz in the driver seat of the other. And the results started pouring in with Hermann finishing second in the Special Vehicle category the Sun City 400 this year as their best result before winning the Toyota Kalahari Botwana 1000 Desert Race.

The Sullwald's Zarco Magnum is not the most powerful on the racing scene, but they believe that good results start in the workshop where Hermann and Paul "Mannetjies" Helberg with the rest of the team take responsibility for preparing the vehicles. The combination of the 450Hp Chev LS1 engine and an Albins six-speed gearbox proved to be a winner in the desert and except for a small electronic problem resulting in them not having any instrumentation during the race, the Sullwald's did not experience any problems during the Botswana event.

The name Zarco is now on the record books and the Sullwald family is ready to take on the second half of the Absa Off-road Championship with the fifth round the African Heritage Cross Country event that will take place from 26 to 30 July in the Eastern Cape.

-credit: www.zarco.co.za

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