document : First Time Lucky For Atlas Copco Pair

First Time Lucky For Atlas Copco Pair
information supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Media) 30 November 2014

359035 First Time Lucky For Atlas Copco Pair

Glenharvie, Saturday – It was first time lucky for Sarel van Biljon and Phillip Herselman when they won the Special Vehicle category at the Atlas Copco Gold 450, the final round of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship.

Van Biljon and Herselman, in the Atlas Copco BAT, were having their Special Vehicle outing after previously campaigning in the Production Vehicle category. Victory for van Biljon and Herselman also completed a dream weekend for the event sponsor, with Gary Bertholdt and Siegfried Rousseau winning the Production Vehicle category in the Atlas Copco Ford Ranger.

Van Biljon and Herselman came home, with plenty to spare, ahead of the experienced pair of Mark Corbett and Juan Mohr in the Century Racing CR5. There was more success for the Century Racing team with Colin Matthews and Rodney Burke, in a CR3, taking the final podium place and winning Class P in a race where tricky conditions led to a high attrition rate.

The high attrition rate saw only eight finishers in the Special Vehicle category with plenty of rain in the build up to the event making life difficult for competitors. Among the casualties were newly crowned Special Vehicle and Class A champions Quintin and Kallie Sullwald, and outgoing champions Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen in the Motorite BAT Viper.

For the Sullwalds failing to see out the distance was not a train smash. The pair had already clinched the overall and Class A titles with only pride at stake over the weekend.

“We felt comfortable in the car from the word go,” said a delighted Herselman afterwards. The BAT was previously campaigned by Johan van Staden and earlier this season by Cape based driver Derick du Toit.

Second and third for the two Century Racing entries saw both crews end disappointing seasons on a high note. For both teams it was a season of missed events and indifferent results, although Corbett/Mohr will be encouraged by the performance of the new CR5 after extensive test sessions in Dubai.

There was also a good finish to the season for Brett Parker/VZ van Zyl (Sizanani Plastics Jimco) and Keith Makenete and Ntoate Bereng in a BAT. It was a first Class A outing for the pair with Makenete previously competing in Class P.

The event also took care of some unfinished championship business in Class P with reigning co-driver championship Maurice Zermatten paying a heavy price for missing the race via international business commitments. Going into the weekend Zermatten and Swazi based driver John Thomson (Zarco) held a 15 point lead over KwaZulu-Natal pair James Watson and John Thompson in a BAT.

Thomson, with Clint McNamara deputising for Zermatten, finished third in Class P behind the KZN crew. In unofficial scoring that was enough for Thomson to clinch back to back driver titles, with Zermatten overtaken by Thompson in the co-driver championship.

Follow the Donaldson Cross Country Championship action on:
First Time Lucky For Atlas Copco Pair.pdf (234kB)

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