document : Elegant Fuel victorious on Toyota Desert Race


Elegant Fuel victorious on Toyota Desert Race
information supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Media) 03 July 2014

358697 Elegant Fuel victorious on Toyota Desert Race

This past weekend marked round four of the Donaldson National Cross-Country Motor Racing Championship. The Toyota 1000 Desert Race in Botswana is the only Marathon event on the calendar and for many the pinnacle of our great sport

The Elegant Fuel Cross-Country Motor Racing team headed to Botswana with high hopes after coming off a win in round three of the championship and fond memories of success on the 2013 Desert Race, the team were looking for more success in 2014

Wichard and Hermann Sullwald in the Elegant Fuel STRYKER showed their potential after qualifying 2nd in category and 11th overall after Friday’s 100km qualifying race. Quintin and Kallie Sullwald in the Elegant Fuel BAT Venom started in the first group that was always going to lose time looking for the route and suffered a puncture which eventually dropped them down to 8th in category and 23rd overall.

Saturday saw crews faced with two loops of 220km each to make up the race distance. Quintin and Kallie stormed through the field and put in the drive of the day and move up to 2nd in category and 5th overall. Wichard and Hermann opted to play the waiting game as the Desert is notorious for a sting in the tail, they preserved their car and dropped back slightly to 5th in category and 12th overall.

Sunday morning there was drama as overnight leaders in the Special Vehicle category withdrew and this saw both Elegant Fuel cars move up a position. Crews faced two more loops of 175km each to make up the race distance and determine the overall winner of the Desert Race. Sunday’s route was a lot more technical and was going to require a lot of hard work to get to the finish

Quintin and Kallie stormed of the line and managed to pass the Malalane Toyota Hilux early on in the loop. They were under constant pressure from the crew as the route got tighter and suited the four wheel drive production vehicle more.

Eventually Quintin and Kallie suffered their second puncture for the weekend but managed to change it only losing a position to the Hilux. At the halfway service stop the Elegant Fuel BAT Venom still enjoyed a two minute lead over the Motorite Racing BAT Viper with Wichard and Hermann making up a position to come in 3rd

About 5km after the start of the last loop Quintin and Kallie Sullwald in the Elegant Fuel BAT Venom started experiencing electrical problems with the car cutting out. They pushed on but eventually had to withdraw from the lead with 45km to go when the car died for the final time and refused to restart. Wichard and Hermann Sullwald in the Elegant Fuel STRYKER had no such problems and their tactic to just keep going was starting to pay off. With 3.2km to the finish the Elegant Fuel pair could not believe their luck as they passed a stricken Motorite Racing car and drove home to an impressive repeat victory.

The result is even more impressive if one considers this is Wichard’s first event entered as a driver after navigating many years for his Father. The weekend results have lifted the pair firmly into championship contention with the other Elegant Fuel pair now leading the championship title race

Elegant Fuel Cross-Country Motor Racing Team is further supported by Sullwald Projects, Faith Wheels, Limpopo Tyres (Polokwane), Oil Shoppe (Polokwane) and Wetherd Designs

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