Atlas Copco to sponsor final cross country event of the year
information supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Media)
16 October 2013
ATLAS COPCO TO SPONSOR FINAL CROSS COUNTRY EVENT OF THE YEAR
Long time Donaldson Cross County Championship supporters Atlas Copco will sponsor the final event of the season on November 22 and 23.
The Atlas Copco Gold 400 will be based in Westonaria for the second time and will settle the overall championship in the Special Vehicle category. The Production Vehicle championship has already been decided in favour of Team Castrol Toyota Hilux crew Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy.
“We have had a long association with cross country racing and it gels perfectly with our company profile,” said Atlas Copco Construction Technique general manager Philip Herselman. “The championship has proved to be the ideal platform to expose our products and services to a wider audience.
“As a company we have greatly benefitted from our association with cross country racing, and sponsoring the Gold 400 is our way of putting something back into the sport.”
Herselman also competes in the championship as co-driver for impressive newcomer Sarel van Biljon in the Atlas Copco Toyota Hilux, with the pair picking up a top five finish on the recent Ford Dealer 400 in Thaba ‘Nchu.
Atlas Copco also sponsor two other vehicles in the Production Vehicle category with Gary Bertholdt /Siegfried Rousseau ( Atlas Copco Nissan Navara) and Johan van Staden/Mike Lawrenson (Atlas Copco Toyota Hilux) both holding down top ten positions in the championship. Bertholdt/Rousseau are fourth in the championship with van Staden/Lawrenson fifth and the two teams are the first of the privateer entries in the highly competitive SP Class.
Atlas Copco has previously sponsored events in the cross country championship via the Atlas Copco Sugarbelt 400 in 2010, the Atlas Copco Battlefields 400 in 2011 and last year’s Atlas Copco Timbertrack 400 in Richmond in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Westonaria event will provide an exciting climax to the Special Vehicle championship. Reigning champions Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen went to the top of the leaderboard after winning the Ford Dealer 400, but are not yet out of the woods.
They will go into the race with a 12.5 advantage over KZN crew Clint Gibson and Gary Campbell (Dirt Sport Components Porter) with three other crews also in contention. Two sets of former champions, Hermann/Wichard Sullwald (Elegant Fuel Stryker) and Quintin/Kallie Sullwald (Elegant Fuel BAT Venom) and Philip de Vries/Johan Viljoen (Conqueror Porter) are all still in the championship reckoning with the last two events producing topsy turvy results.
On the Production Vehicle front Ford Racing crew Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst will be looking for an unprecedented eighth podium finish. The pair, who will make their Dakar Rally debut in South America next year, won the Nkomazi 400 earlier in the year and in a remarkable run of consistency have finished on the podium in every event so far this season.
Visser and Badenhorst will also be involved in a battle for the runner-up spot in the overall and premier SP Class championships. Victory for reigning champions Duncan Vos and Rob Howie (Castrol Toyota Hilux) on the recent Ford Dealer 400 brought them to within 17.5 points of the Ford Racing pair.
Atlas Copco Gold 400 race headquarters, the start/finish and the designated service park will again be located at the Kloof Country Club in Glenharvie with public access to these areas free of charge. The qualifying race will start at 12:00 on November 22 and the race at 08:30 the following day.
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