document : The fairytale continues for Horn brothers

The fairytale continues for Horn brothers
information supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Media) 09 August 2014

Maiden Donaldson Cross Country win for Mpumalanga pair

Sun City, Saturday – The fairytale continued for Mpumalanga brothers Johan and Werner Horn when they scored a maiden Production Vehicle national series victory with a win on the Force Fuel 450, round five of the Donaldson Cross County Championship, here today.

After a string of podium finishes in their first season in the premier Class T category the Horns, in the Malalane Toyota Hilux, finally cracked the big one. The delighted pair came home just over four minutes ahead of Gary Bertholdt and Siegfried Rousseau in the Atlas Copco Ford Racing Ranger.

The final slot on the podium – their fourth of the season - went to Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie, in the factory Team Castrol Toyota Hilux. After a disappointing qualifying race Poulter and Howie produced a gutsy performance to gradually work their way through the field.

The Horn brothers, second in the qualifying race, moved into the lead early on the first of two loops that made up the race through the Pilanesberg. Pole sitters and current championship leaders Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy, in the second Team Castrol Toyota Hilux, lost the windscreen after a confrontation with Special Vehicle crew Quintin and Kallie Sullwald.

The pair then had a puncture only to discover the jack had fallen off the car. They drove on the flat to a spectator point where they borrowed a jack, but the incidents dropped them to seventh at the halfway mark.

Then it got worse for Taylor and Murphy. On the second loop they ran into gearbox problems that forced them into a spectator role, and left them just three points clear of the Horns in unofficial championship scoring.

“We never had to get out of the car, but I think we were a little lucky,” said Johan Horn. “When Anthony and Dennis ran into problems it gave us the break we needed.

“After that we simply stayed out of trouble. It is a policy we have adopted all season and it is working.”

Another trademark performance with no frills took Johan van Staden and Mike Lawrenson into fourth place in the Atlas Copco Nissan Navara. Behind them what was probably the most popular result of the day saw Mike Whitehouse and former Springbok rugby captain John Smit, in the Regent Racing Nissan Navara, take fifth place.

“We had to nurse the car home over the last 40 kilometres with a CV joint problem, but a top five is a great result for us,” said Whitehouse. “John was fantastic in the car, and was cool and calm under pressure.”

For the second event in a row North West veterans Jannie Visser and Joks le Roux (Ruwacon Toyota Hilux) revelled in the conditions, and sixth overall also saw them take the Class S win for cars under four litres with solid axle rear suspension.

They were ahead of Hennie de Klerk/Johann Smalberger (RFS/Treasury One BMW X3) who continued a recent run of decent form.

There was another popular result when Terence Marsh and Top Billing presenter Jeannie D finished eighth in a second Regent Racing Nissan Navara. Smit and Jeannie D were competing in the Imperial Auto Celebrity Challenge and all the TV star could say afterwards was: “Awesome.”

The top 10 was completed by two other Class S cars with Rustenburg crew Willem Vos and Werner Weiss (Vossies BMW X3) coming in ahead of Luke Botha and Andre Vermeulen in the Force Fuel Toyota Hilux. Vos/Weiss led home the Class S brigade in the qualifying race, but hit a rock at speed on loop two and limped home with only back brakes.

The win for Visser/le Roux and fourth place for Class S championship leaders Louw de Bruin and Riaan Greyling (Ruwacon Ford Ranger) has produced an interesting situation at the top of Class S. De Bruin/Greyling still lead the title race but unofficial scoring sees their lead cut to just nine points.

In the Class G, or new Side by Side category, KwaZulu-Natal pair Gareth Woolridge and Boyd Dreyer (Polaris Razor) also continued a good run of form. A solid performance added to a pair of Toyota 1000 Desert Race wins, with the pair finishing ahead of Werner Mostert/Henno du Plooy (Polaris) and Brian Capper and Jaco Swart in the Regent Racing Polaris.

The next event on the Donaldson calendar sees cross country racing return to its spiritual home at the Vryburg 450 in North West in September.

Follow the Donaldson Cross Country Championship action on:
The fairytale continues for Horn brothers.pdf (239kB)

2014 Force Fuel 400 - Special Vehicle Category Results Final.pdf (114kB)

2014 Force Fuel 400 - Special Vehicle Class Results Final.pdf (114kB)

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