Lucky victory for Sullwalds on RFS 450
information supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Media)
01 March 2014
LUCKY VICTORY FOR SULLWALDS ON RFS 450
Harrismith, Saturday – Former South African champions Quintin and Kallie Sullwald scored a somewhat fortuitous Special Vehicle category victory on the RFS 450, opening round of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, which ended here today.
The son and father combination, in the Elegant Fuel BAT Venom, started in pole position after winning the 100 kilometre qualifying event. But by the end of the first of two 175 kilometre loops that made up the race, the Sullwalds had dropped to second place.
They were 43 seconds behind reigning South African champions Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen in the Motorite BAT Venom, with a terrific lap two dice developing between the two crews. That ended when Hutchison and Stassen, back in the lead, picked up a puncture 40 kilometres from the finish and handed the advantage to the Sullwalds.
“After working so hard to get into the lead and stay in front it was a frustrating end to the race,” said Hutchison. “On the plus side it was a positive start to the season, and we had a really good dice with the Sullwalds.”
For their part it was a nervous finish for the Sullwalds. The alternator warning light came on shortly before the finish, and driver Quintin also found himself in a ‘mobile sauna’ when the cool air hose attached to his helmet malfunctioned.
“It wasn’t an easy race and we were a little lucky, but a win is a win,” said the younger Sullwald. It was his second national win as a driver after previously having co-driven for his father.
The final place on the podium went to the richly talented veteran Gerhard du Plessis, and his 17-year-old son Gerhardus in an ageing Jimco that had its first race in 2000. The elder du Plessis missed the whole of last season, and for his son it was a dream introduction to national championship racing.
Behind the podium finishers there was a great result for KwaZulu-Natal crew Arthur Barnes and Anthony Usher in a BAT Venom. They came home fourth on their national championship debut, and held off the husband and wife team of Marius and Jolinda Fourie (PHB BAT) by 29 seconds.
A second KZN crew, Clint Gibson and Gary Campbell (Dirt Sport Components Porter) were a solid sixth ahead of Jimmy Zahos and Alan Smith in the Cobalt Racing Stryker. Botswana crew Keith du Toit and newcomer Xander Mare, in the Maxxis White Star BAT, completed the top eight after another steady performance.
The big losers among the premier Class A brigade were former champions Hermann and Wichard Sullwald in the Elegant Fuel Stryker. The pair picked up a puncture on the first lap and a little further down the road car and wheel parted company.
The Class P battle saw John Telford and Andrew Makenete (Calcamite/Rhino Tanks BAT) score a comfortable win over veterans Rob Wark and Ashley Thorn in the K9 Racing Aceco. It was a good fight back from Wark and Thorn, and after losing wads of time in the qualifying race they edged out Frikkie Botha and Koos Visser in a BAT.
Reigning Class P champions John Thomson and Maurice Zermatten (Zarco Magnum) were a distant fourth ahead of Nic Goslar and Joe Lima in another Zarco Magnum.
The next event on the calendar is the Toyota Dealer 450 in Mooi River in KwaZulu-Natal on April 4 and 5.
Lucky victory for Sullwalds on RFS 450.pdf (237kB)
2014 RFS 450 - Special Vehicle Category Results.pdf (97kB)
2014 RFS 450 - Special Vehicle Class Results.pdf (97kB)