Sullwalds tighten hold on Special Vehicle Championship
information supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Media)
13 September 2014
SULLWALDS TIGHTEN HOLD ON SPECIAL VEHICLE CHAMPIONSHIP
Vryburg, Saturday – The son and father combination of Quintin and Kallie Sullwald tightened their hold on the Special Vehicle championship when they finished second on the Vryburg 450, round six of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, here today.
The overall victory went to reigning champions Evan Hutchison and birthday boy Danie Stassen, in the Motorite BAT Viper, with the pair barely keeping alive their championship hopes with their first win of the season. Another tense duel between the two crews ended with only 20 seconds separating them.
The Sullwalds (Elegant Fuel BAT Venom) were happy to consolidate their championship standings with an advantage which has stretched to more than 30 points. With 25 points for a win and with only two events remaining on the calendar, the Sullwalds are currently in the box seats.
“This is a win that was a long time in coming, but it was time for a little luck to run our way,” said Hutchison. “We had a good battle with the Sullwalds, and now we need an equally strong finish to the season.”
A string of crews picked up punctures with everyone complaining about the dust and the heat which hovered in the high 30s on the whole weekend. The Sullwalds were one of the teams hit by a puncture that also broke the wheel rim.
“We battled to replace the rim, and it cost us the race,” said Sullwald junior. “But for all that it was a good result for us and the other teams must do the chasing on the last two events.”
The final place on the podium went to Force Fuel 450 winners Laurence du Plessis and Gielie le Roux (Zarco) who edged out Gerhard and Hardus du Plessis (Jimco) in a sibling driver battle. The du Plessis bothers and Hutchison are separated by just six points in the overall championship, and the final two events promise some interesting racing as the trio chase after the Sullwalds.
A steady run in the hot and dusty conditions and an ultra fast route took Botswana pair Keith du Toit and Robbie Coetzee, in the White Star Racing BAT, into the top five. It was a good result for the pair with Coetzee having his first cross country outing.
A rearguard action, after a disappointing qualifying race, saw Wichard Sullwald and brother-in-law Byron Sykes (Elegant Fuel Stryker) rescue sixth place. It was only the second time out for Sykes with the pair a long way behind du Toit and Coetzee.
Seventh place and another Class P win went to Swazi based driver John Thomson and Gauteng co-driver Maurice Zermatten in a Zarco. Consistency has always been a forte for Thomson and Zermatten, and it was a win that took the pair a step closer to back to back Class P titles.
Thomson and Zermatten were at the front of a quartet of Class P cars that all earned top10 places. They were followed by KwaZulu-Natal pair James Watson and John Thompson (BAT), Keith Makenete/Moalosi Borotho (CRC Zarco) and Nic Goslar/Andrew Massey in the SA Clinics Zarco.
The last of the Special Vehicle finishers were Stefan van Pletzen and Jaco Pieterse in an ageing Aceco. Perseverance also saw the pair into the top 10.
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