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ABSA South African Championship 2007 Special-Newssection

This is the single-news section of the special of the ABSA South African Offroad Championship series 2007. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

ABSA 2007: Albert leads the way on Ford Motorite 400 prologue.

Amathole 500 winners Nardus Alberts and Collin Hunter, in the Wrapsa BAT, led the way in the Special Vehicle category on the prologue for the ABSA Ford Motorite 400. On a route, which suits the Special Vehicle entries provisional results saw Alberts and Hunter finish 15 seconds ahead of championship leaders Nick and Ryan Harper in the Atlas Copco BAT. The event is round six of the Absa Off Road Championship with nine of the first 10 cars Special Vehicle entries with a terrific battle expected in the race proper.

"We had a clean run but I’m a little surprised we were quickest," said Alberts. "It is a nice bonus for us but it is going to be a very tough race. Being first on the road has advantages and disadvantages, so we’ll simply go out and do the best we can."

The consistent Harpers have a comfortable lead in the overall and Class A championships, and will be looking for a good finish. A win for the pair will be a bonus. "We will be happy with a top three finish," said Harper senior. "At this stage of the series a good haul of points is more important than a win. "We nearly fell into a donga today, and it is going to be a tough event."

Reigning champions Alfie Cox and Hennie ter Stege, in the Motorite BAT, were only three seconds behind the Harpers in third place. Gary Bertholdt and Geoff Minnitt, in the Atlas Copco Porter, and Shameer Variawa and Siegfried Rousseau, in the Total Porter, rounded out the top five - with only 30 second separating the quintet.

First of the Class B contingent were Capetonians Johann and Etienne Bezuidenhout in the Adenco BAT. They came in ahead of championship leaders Hendrik and Jan Kraaij in the Regent Racing BAT, with Louw de Bruin and Rudi Britz (Ruwacon BAT) next up.

The Kraaij’s have won Class B on four of the five events run so far this season, and have a tight grip on the championship. A puncture near the finish of the prologue cost them time, but they will start less than half a minute behind the Bezuidenhout’s.

Reigning drivers champion Nic Goslar and Richard Carolin, in the Kopanong Hotel Superteam Raceco, were first of the Class S entries. They had nearly 90 seconds in hand over Richard Schilling and Chris Davies (Plastotech Aceco) who were hampered with a power steering malfunction.

Only one second separates Schilling/Davies and Glen Gibson and Mark Whitehurst in the Absolute Aceco. Gibson/Whitehurst won the Amathole 500 and the Class S battle could be a feature of the race.

2007/09/13 | 11:01 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Charmaine Fortune

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