Taylor / Murphy make a perfect start to Vryburg 450
information supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Media)
12 September 2014
TAYLOR/MURPHY MAKE A PERFECT START TO VRYBURG 450
Vryburg, Friday – Reigning Production Vehicle champions Anthony Taylor and Denis Murphy, in the factory Team Castrol Toyota Hilux, made the perfect start to the Vryburg 450, round six of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, here today.
Taylor and Murphy won the qualifying race to determine grid positions for the main event tomorrow – and also profited from some misfortune to close championship rivals Johan and Werner Horn. The Horn brothers in the Malalane Toyota Hilux, went into the weekend trailing Taylor/Murphy by just three points in the overall championship, but finished down in 19th position and lost wads of time when the car fell off the jack while they were changing a flat tyre.
Behind the factory crew there were more than encouraging results for Sarel van Biljon and Philip Herselman, in the Atlas Copco Toyota Hilux, and North West youngsters Jason Venter and Vincent van Alleman, in the 4x4 Mega World Toyota Hilux. It was first time on the podium for both crews, but Taylor and Murphy take into the race a healthy one minute and 55 second lead.
“We had a good run with no problems,” said Murphy. “After a non finish on the Force Fuel 450 we need to bounce back, and hopefully the race will also be trouble free.”
Van Biljon/Herselman finished 39 seconds ahead of Venter/van Allemann who were 19 seconds clear of fourth placed Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst in the factory Atlas Copco Ford Ranger. Visser is making his first start of the season since undergoing surgery for a neck injury suffered on this year’s Dakar Rally.
“We lost communication in the car two kilometres into the race, so it was a difficult run,” said Visser. “From my point of view it was great to be back in action.”
Hennie de Klerk/Johann Smalberger (RFS/Treasury One BMX3) continued their good form this season with a solid fifth place. They came in ahead of Malcolm Kock/Johann Burger (Kock and Son Toyota Hilux) and it was no surprise to see the local crew, having their second outing of the season, in the top six.
Seventh and first of the Class S contingent – for cars up to four litres with solid rear axles suspension - were Deon Venter and Jaco van Aardt, in the 4x4 Mega World Toyota Hilux. They led a trio of Class S entries with Rustenburg crew Willem Vos/Werner Weiss eighth in the Vossie BMW X3.
They were followed by former SA champions Jannie Visser and Joks Le Roux (Ruwacon Racing Toyota Hilux), from just down the road in Barberspan, who will fancy their chances of another win in familiar conditions. After hitting a tree Pretoria crew Christiaan du Plooy and Henk Janse van Vuuren (RFS Ford Ranger) recovered to complete the top 10 ahead of Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie in the second Castrol Toyota Hilux.
The big losers on the day were Gary Bertholdt and Siegfried Rousseau, in the second factory Atlas Copco Ford Ranger, who hit a concrete pole. The impact ripped off a rear wheel with the pair hoping the car could be repaired overnight.
Dewald and Anton Nienaber (Toyota Land Cruiser) were the only finishers in Class D with the new Class G or Side by Side category producing a turn up for the books. Championship leaders Brian Capper and Jaco Swart (Regent Racing Polaris) were among the non finishers, with Motorite Can-Am Maverick pair Leander Pienaar and Carl Swanepoel leading home championship challenger Gareth Woolridge and Boyd Dreyer in a Polaris.
Race headquarters, the start finish and the designated service point are all located at the Vryburg Motor Club with the race scheduled to start at 08:00. Entrance to these areas and spectator viewing points is free of charge.
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