document : Matthews and Smith show clean pair of heels on Nkomazi 400 Prologue

Matthews and Smith show clean pair of heels on Nkomazi 400 Prologue
information supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Media) 12 April 2013


Malalane, Friday – Century Racing crew Colin Matthews and Alan Smith showed the rest of the Special Vehicle field a clean pair off heels today to win the prologue for tomorrow’s Nkomazi 400, round two of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, here.

A blistering run saw the Class P crew finish just over 90 seconds ahead of reigning South African champions Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen in the Motorite BAT Venom. Matthews and Smith, in the Century Racing CR3, took full advantage of a tight and twisty route with the Class P car proving to be more nimble than the more powerful Class A cars.

“The route is awesome but the only problems we had were a wrong slot and battling with the brakes,” said Smith. “Apart from being a bit more nimble than the Class A cars the CR3 is also lighter.

“It gives us a cornering advantage but it is going to be a tough race.”

Hutchison and Stassen had a “good run” marred by a couple of wrong slots and came in with 22 seconds to spare over former SA champions Hermann and Wichard Sullwald in the Elegant Fuel Porter. Both crews, however, found it tough going on a highly technical route.

The top five were rounded out by KwaZulu-Natal brothers Clint and Glenn Gibson. With 41 seconds separating the two cars RFS 400 winner Clint, again partnered by Gary Campbell in the DirtSport Components Porter, were comfortably ahead of Glenn Gibson and Clint Brook in the DirtSport Components BAT.

Newcomers Philip de Vries again proved to be something of a surprise package in another Porter. The pair finished sixth on the RFS 400 which opened the season, and were again on the fringes of the top five with the Conqueror Porter 23 seconds behind Gibson and Brook.

In a close finish de Vries and Viljoen edged out the father and son team of Nick and Ryan Harper, in the second Motorite BAT Venom, with only seven seconds separating the two cars. Next up were the husband and wife team of Marius and Yolinda Fourie, in the PHB BAT, who had just over 40 seconds in hand over former SA champions Quintin and Kallie Sullwald in the Elegant Fuel BAT Venom.

The final top 10 place went to Democratic Republic of Congo brothers Eduardo and Ricardo Argazzi in a BAT. They were more than a minute and a half clear of Botswana driver Mogrey Mabille and Zelda Niemandt in another Porter.

Matthews and Smith won Class P by the proverbial country mile. They were around nine minutes ahead of Nic Goslar and Andrew Massey (Men’s International Zarco Magnum) who, in turn, had more than 40 seconds to spare over veteran Rob Wark and Jeremy Woods in the K9 Racing Aceco.

There was success for another KZN crew with Iain Maclean and Luke van Dort winning Class B in a Zarco Junior.
Tomorrow’s race starts at 08:30 at race headquarters at the Riverview Preparatory School on the outskirts of Malalane.

Follow the Donaldson Cross Country Championship action on:
Matthews and Smith show clean pair of heels on Nkomazi 400 Prologue.pdf (241kB)

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