document : Sullwald's take tight grip on Special Vehicle championship

Sullwald's take tight grip on Special Vehicle championship
information supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Media) 13 July 2011


Reigning champions Kallie and Quintin Sullwald have taken a firm hold on the Special vehicle category championship following last month’s Toyota 1000 Desert Race in Botswana.

The Botswana outing represented the halfway mark in the Absa Off Road Championship with the Sullwald’s, in the Elegant Fuel BAT, scoring their second win of the season to break a logjam at the top of the overall and Class A championships. Prior to the Toyota Desert Race the Sullwald’s were locked in a family battle at the top of both championships with Hermann and Wichard Sullwald (Sullwald Racing SVR) and Nick and Ryan Harper in the Motorite BAT.

The Harpers were the biggest losers in Botswana with a non finish dropping them back to fourth overall behind the two Sullwald teams and Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen (Motorite Revo) who were second on the Toyota 1000 Desert Race. With the Botswana race, the only marathon event on the Absa championship calendar, worth ‘time and half’ in terms of points, there was a massive points swing at the top of the championship.

The Harpers went to Botswana trailing the two Sullwald teams, who were locked together at the top of the overall championship, by just two points. The gap between the Harpers and the championship leaders is now 39,5 points with Herman and Wichard Sullwald, who had a troubled race, trailing their family team by 15,5 points.

The situation at the top of Class A also sees the two Sullwald teams leading Hutchison/Stassen and the Harpers. Once again there has been a huge swing in points and the Harpers, after being level on points with the two Sullwald teams, now trail the leaders by 30 points.

In Class P the Regent Racing pair of Archie Rutherford and Mike Lawrenson scored their second successive win to become the third crew to lead the championship this season. A third podium finish in a row also lifted Nic Goslar (Men’s Health International Zarco) into second place in the driver stakes ahead of KwaZulu-Natal driver Don Thomson.

Thomson and Wayne Foster were non finishers in Botswana and Foster drops to second in the co-driver championship ahead of Massey, who partners Goslar. Massey missed the Toyota Dealer 400 while early season championship leaders, Marius and Jolinda Fourie (PHB BAT), drop to fourth in the driver and co-driver championships after two non finishes in a row.

KZN crew Leon Bothma and Quinton Brand, after a win on the Atlas Copco 400 continue to lead Class B. Keith Makenete (Zarco) is second among the drivers with Letlatsa Lehana, who has only competed in one event, second among the co-drivers.

The father and daughter combination of Coetzee and Sandra Labuscagne (Raysonics Zarco) took advantage of a ruling for the Botswana event that allowed them, after failing to finish day two, to rejoin the race on day three and pick up reduced points. This allowed the pair to score for the first time this season, and lifted Miss Labuscagne into third in the co-driver championship.

The next event on the Absa Off Road Championship calendar is the Sun City 400 in the Pilanesberg on July 29 and 30.
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