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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: Harpers take narrow BAT-victory on Nissan Hluhluwe 400.

The father and son team of Nick and Ryan Harper scored a narrow victory in the Special Vehicle category on the Nissan Hluhluwe 400, round two of the Absa Off Road Championship, which ended in Hluhluwe on Sunday. Provisional results gave the Harpers, in the Atlas Copco BAT, a slender 14 second win over former champion Shameer Variawa and Siegfried Rousseau in the Total Motorsport Porter. A further 13 minutes behind were Nardus Alberts and Collin Hunter in the Wrapsa BAT.

Local crew Clint Gibson and Mike Brown were a good fourth in the Absolute BAT with Class B winners Hendrik and Jan Kraaij, in the Keymax BAT, completing the top five. It was a great drive by the Kraaij’s who scored their second win of the season.

The Harpers hardly put a foot wrong but were aided and abetted by the retirement of some of the Class A big guns, including Atlas Copco Porter team-mates Gary Bertholdt and Henry Kirstein who retired with overheating problems. Also sidelined were current SA champions Alfie Cox and Hennie ter Steege and Motorite BAT team-mates Evan Hutchison and Achim Bergman.

Both teams suffered from gearbox maladies in what was a disappointing outing for the Motorite team. Hutchison and Bergman won the opening round of the series, with Cox/ter Steege second, and the team was looking for a repeat in KwaZulu-Natal. "We had a perfect weekend," said Harper senior. "We had no problems on the prologue or in the race."

The Kraaij’s dominated Class B and were comfortably ahead of Bez Bezuidenhout and Johann de Bruyn in the Adenco BAT. Just to keep matters within the family Johan and Etienne Bezuidenhout rounded out the top three. The Kraaij’s had nearly half and hour to spare over Bezuidenhout/de Bruyn and had a clear run. After two wins they have taken a firm early season hold on Class B.

Down in Class S Richard Schilling and Chris Davies, in the Plastotech Aceco, also made it two wins in a row. They were the only Class S finishers in the opening round, and today had plenty of time to spare over second placed Nic Goslar and Richard Carolin in the Kopanong Hotel Superteam Raceco.

Run in hot and humid conditions the race produced a high rate of attrition. There was, however, nothing but praise for a route that "sorted the men from the boys" with the Nissan Hluhluwe event breaking new ground.

2007/04/16 | 10:26 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Charmaine Fortune

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