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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: Hutchison wins in the SA Special Vehicle Category.

The Motorite BAT pair of Evan Hutchison and Achim Bergmann scored an emphatic win on the Ford Carnival City 400 today to clinch the Special Vehicle title in a dramatic end to the Absa Off Road Championship. Hutchison and Bergmann stormed home around six minutes ahead of Colin Matthews and Alan Smith, in the Century Racing BAT, for their third win in a row. It was a victory that wrapped up a championship that went all the way to the wire.

Hutchison and Bergman went into the race five points behind Nick and Ryan Harper, in the Atlas Copco BAT, in what was a winner takes all situation. A fired up Hutchison and Bergmann simply blitzed the opposition to give the Motorite team their second overall and Class A championship in a row.

Outgoing champions Alfie Cox and Hennie ter Stege, in a second Motorite BAT, were third in with the Atlas Copco Porter, in the hands of Gary Bertholdt and Geoff Minnitt, taking fourth place ahead of the Harpers. Straying off the course on the second of two 180 kilometre loops and getting stuck in a mud hole, did not help the Harper cause in what was a disappointing end to the season for the Atlas Copco team.

"Everything panned out nicely for us," said Hutchison. "We were a little unsettled on the first loop, but after that it went well. The last 50 kilometres were nerve wracking but this was a victory for the whole team."

Class B champions Hendrik and Jan Kraaij, in the Regent Racing BAT, ended their season in fine style with their sixth win in eight events. They came in eighth overall behind Regent Racing BAT team-mates Mike Whitehouse/Matthew Carlson and Terence Marsh/Pieter Groenewald who were sixth and seventh overall and in Class A.

A family battle for the runner-up spot in Class B went the way of Bez Bezuidenhout and Johann de Bruyn (Adenco BAT) ahead of Bezuidenhout’s sons, Etienne and Johan, in a second Adenco BAT. Both teams went out with mechanical problems with Bezuidenhout senior and de Bruyn second in the championship by one point.

Veteran Richard Carolin and Nic Goslar, in the ageing Kopanong Hotel Superteam Raceco, took the Class S honours in a fine drive that saw them finish 12th overall. Carolin and Goslar, who normally does the driving, finished almost 15 minutes ahead of Glen Gibson and Mark Whitehurst in the Absolute Aceco. The Raceco has an interesting history. The car was first raced in the United States in the 80s, and was imported into South Africa in 1994.

Veterans Richard Schilling and Chris Davies (Aceco) who won the Class S championship at the penultimate race of the season, gave this event a miss. Schilling is still feeling the after effects of a broken wrist.

2007/12/01 | 05:47 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Charmaine Fortune

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