document : Early battle lines drawn in Special Vehicle category

Early battle lines drawn in Special Vehicle category
information supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Media) 15 March 2012


The battle lines have been drawn in the Special Vehicle category in this year’s Absa Off Road Championship and the opening event, the RFS Magalies 400, provided plenty of evidence that the overall championship is going to develop into a tight affair.

The Atlas Copco BAT pair of Johan van Staden and Mike Lawrenson, who have both scored overall wins in Class P machinery, took the overall honours and maiden Class A victories to set the early championship pace. They were less than 20 seconds ahead of former South African champion Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen who were impressive in a maiden outing for the new Motorite BAT Venom.

It was a performance that earmarked Hutchison and Stassen as potential title challengers with reliability likely to be a key throughout the year. Reliability is the challenge that faces Colin Matthews and Alan Smith (Century Racing CR3) who took the final podium place and won Class P by the proverbial mile.

Brothers Laurence and Gerhard du Plessis (Zarco Magnum) made an impressive return to racing and veteran Nardus Alberts, partnered by son Louis in the Wrapsa BAT, also threw his hat into the championship mix. Alberts and son lie fifth in the overall and Class A stakes and KwaZulu-Natal pair Clint Gibson and Gary Campbell (Gibson Racing Porter) are another crew with victory potential.

Quintin Sullwald, in his first outing as a driver with father Kallie sitting alongside him, will have been happy with seventh overall in the Elegant Fuel BAT. The second Sullwald team of reigning champions Hermann and Wichard Sullwald, in the Elegant Fuel Porter, had a disappointing outing but along with the likes of Nick and Ryan Harper (Motorite Revo), brothers David and Gary White (Ruwacon BAT) and Class A newcomers Marius and Jolinda Fourie (PHB BAT) in the mix competition throughout the season is going to be cut throat.

Matthews and Smith have taken the early lead in Class P but after a win on the opening event last year their season fell apart. If the Century Racing pair go walkabout again it could open the door for the likes of John Telford/Jaco Swart (Calcamite BAT) and Coetzee and Sandra Labuscagne (Raysonics Zarco) who picked up valuable championship points on the RFS Magalies 400.

Battle in the Special vehicle category will resume on April 13 and 14 when the Absa Off Road Championship moves to Mpumalanga for the Toyota Dealer 400 in Lydenburg.
Early battle lines drawn in Special Vehicle category.pdf (246kB)

2012 OR POINTS.xls (103kB)

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