document : Vos and Howie take Production Car championship lead

Vos and Howie take Production Car championship lead
information supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Competitor) 17 April 2012


A controversial win on the Toyota Dealer 400 in Mpumalanga has taken Team Castrol Toyota crew Duncan Vos and Rob Howie to the top of the overall and SP Class title chases in the Production Vehicle category of the Absa Off Road Championship.

The Lydenburg based event was round two of the Absa series with former South African champion Vos and Howie leading home team-mates Anthony Taylor and Chris Birkin to give Team Castrol Toyota a one/two triumph. The Toyota factory team’s first win in 13 years on a Toyota sponsored event was, however, clouded in controversy.

Vos/Howie were penalised more than 10 minutes by clerk of the course Rex Boreham for twice deviating from the route. Team Castrol Toyota protested the decision and the stewards of the meeting overturned a five minute penalty – a decision which took Vos and Howie back to the top of the leaderboard head of Taylor/Birkin and RFS BMW X3 crew Hannes Grobler and Hennie ter Stege.

The RFS team then filed a notice of intention to lodge an appeal with Motorsport South Africa against the decision by the stewards. The RFS team later rescinded the decision to appeal and the results were declared final.

As matters stand Vos/Howie now have a three point lead over former champions Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst, in the Team Ford Ranger, who salvaged points with an eighth place finish. A string of punctures left the Ford crew stranded until Terence Marsh and George Smalberger, in the Regent Racing Nissan Navara, and the Vossies BMW farther and son team of Willem and Dana Vos stopped to lend them spare wheels.

Grobler/ter Stege and Taylor/Birkin are tied for third place in the overall championship with Marsh and Smalberger a further point in arrears. Only 12 points separates the top five crews.

In the SP Class only six points separate the crews courtesy of differences in points allocation for overall and class results. Vos/Howie lead Visser/Badenhorst by two points with Grobler/ter Stege, Taylor/Birkin and Marsh Smalberger tied together a further six points adrift.

Two wins in a row have given Cliff Weichelt and Johann Smalberger, in the N1 4x4 Toyota land Cruiser a handy early season lead in Class D. They lead reigning champions Jack and Sarel Oosthuizen (LMC Land Rover) by 11 points with Weichelt commuting between Australia and South Africa to compete in the first two events.

Mpumalanga brothers Johan and Werner Horn are third in the Malelane Toyota Land Cruiser with teenagers Jason Venter and Vincent van Alleman fourth in the 4x4 Mega World Toyota Hilux. For Venter and van Alleman the move up to Class D from Class E has been something of a baptism of fire.

Two wins in a row have also lifted Dirk Putter and Koos Claasens (Toyota Hilux) to the top of the Class E points list. They are three points clear of KwaZulu-Natal newcomers Rowan Lamb and Lyle Parker in the ex Team Ford works Ford Ranger that has five national championships to its name.

The next event in the Absa Off Road Championship is the Atlas Copco Timbertrack 400 which will be based in Richmond on May 18 and 19.
Vos and Howie take Production Car championship lead.pdf (247kB)

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2012 OR Car Seeding Updated 15 April - PRODUCTION.pdf (13kB)

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