document : Production Vehicle title battle lines are drawn

Production Vehicle title battle lines are drawn
information supplied by: Cross Country Exco 03 July 2013


A second successive Production Vehicle category win for Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy on the recent Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race, round four of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, has drawn the battle lines for the last four events of the season.

Victory in the Team Castrol Toyota Hilux not only gave Toyota successive triumphs on their own event, but propelled Taylor and Murphy into a tie with the Ford Racing pair of Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst in both the overall Production Vehicle and Class SP title races. With the Botswana event worth points and a half, Taylor and Murphy made up a 15 point deficit on former South African champions Visser and Badenhorst.

Taylor/Murphy and Visser Badenhorst are locked together on 85,5 points and have a 31,5 advantage over third placed Duncan Vos and Rob Howie in the second Team Castrol Toyota Hilux. Vos and Howie, who finished the Desert Race in fourth place behind Visser and Badenhorst, are the reigning SA champions and won the event last year.

The allocation of points for the event saw a dramatic move up the overall championship table by Hugo de Bruyn and Henri Hugo (Micaren Exel Toyota Hilux) who finished second to Taylor and Murphy. After failing to pick up a point prior to the Botswana event, de Bruyn and Hugo climbed from 24th to seventh.

A solid result in Botswana took Atlas Copco Toyota Hilux crew Johan van Staden and Mike Lawrenson into the top five ahead of day one casualties Malcolm Kock and Johan Burger (Kock and Sons Toyota Hilux), who rescued half a point when they rejoined the race on the final racing section.

Among those to miss out altogether on valuable points were Gary Bertholdt and Siegfried Rousseau who did not have a happy debut in the new Atlas Copco Nissan Navara, Free State crew Louw de Bruin and Riaan Greyling (Ruwacon Ford Ranger), an ill Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable, in the second Ford Racing Ranger, and Mike Whitehouse and Mathew Carlson in the Regent Racing Nissan Navara .

There was a change in the pecking order in Class D with a third win in four events taking North West youngsters Jason Venter and Vincent van Alleman (Trysome Toyota Hilux) to the top of the ladder. They now have a nine point advantage over former champions Jack and Sarel Oosthuizen in the LMC Land Rover.

The Oosthuizens suffered a rare non finish in Botswana and were joined on the sidelines by Mpumalanga brothers Johan and Werner Horn in the Malalane Toyota Land Cruiser. In a disappointing season so far the Horns have only managed one finish out of the four events run so far.

The status quo remained unaltered in Class E with reigning champions Dirk Putter and Koos Claasens (Ford Ranger) extending their lead in this year’s championship. They were the only Class E crew to see out the distance on the Desert Race and have now finished 15 of their last 17 outings.

The next event on the calendar is the Sun City 400 in the Pilanesberg. Race headquarters and the designated service point will again be located at the Sun City complex.

Follow the Donaldson Cross Country Championship action on:
Production Vehicle title battle lines are drawn.xls (155kB)

2013 Donaldson Cross Country Points.xls (145kB)

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