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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: Special Vehicle category wide open on Sun City 400.

Potential Special Vehicle category winners will be lining up to leave their mark on the Sun City 400, round three of the Absa Off Road Championship on May 11 and 12, with the race wide open. The first two events of the season have produced two different winners and competition among the top Special Vehicle category crews has never been more intense. This has led to a situation where at least half a dozen crews have the potential to win, and it would take a brave man to stick his neck out and choose a winner.

A win and a third have taken Nick and Ryan Harper, in the Atlas Copco BAT, to the top of the overall and Class A championships. Consistency always plays a role in winning championships, and the Harpers will be looking for another good finish.

Former SA champion Shameer Variawa and Siegfried Rousseau (Total Porter) have also made an encouraging start to their campaign, and have a winners look about them. Much the same goes for Nardus Alberts and Collin Hunter in the Wrapsa BAT, and they could upset some more fancied crews.

Nissan Dealer 400 winners Evan Hutchison and Achim Bergman and reigning South African champions Alfie Cox and Hennie ter Stege, with both crews out in new Motorite BAT Spec 3 entries, will want to put a disappointing Nissan Hluhluwe 400 behind them. Both crews went out with gearbox problems, and they will want to bounce back in emphatic fashion.

Some early under achievers will also want to get their season back on track to avoid having to play catch up for the rest of the season. Among these crews are Gary Bertholdt and Henry Kirstein, in the Atlas Copco Porter, who are struggling to combine reliability with outright pace.

The likes of former SA champion Terence Marsh, now teamed up with Pieter Groenewald in the Regent Racing BAT, Rob and Gareth Wark, in the Superpave BAT, and the Sullwald brothers in the Sullwald Transport Zarcos are also potential frontrunners. When it comes to picking an overall winner, however, throwing a dart blindfolded at an entry list is probably as good a method as any.

In Class B the Hendrik and Jan Kraaij combination, in the Regent Racing BAT, have got off to a flier with two wins in two outings. They will start as obvious favourites with the other Class B runners hoping the law of averages catches up with the Kraaij’s.

The major opposition will come from the Adenco BATs in the hands of Johan and Etienne Bezuidenhout and Bez Bezuidenhout and Johann de Bruyn. Veteran Giel Nel/Sandra Labuscagne and Marius van Vuuren William Elliott, in the Zarcos, have consistency on their side while the likes of Alistair Stubbs/Marc de Chalain (AM/PM Racing Viper) and Marcus Taylor/Derek Keith (JRE) will want to put behind them disappointing starts to the season.

The Swaziland crew John Thompson and Clinton McNamara, must also figure among the potential winners. It is the Kraaij’s, however, who will carry most of the smart money. The smart money in Class S will be on Richard Schilling and Chris Davies in the Plastotech Aceco. Two wins in two outings have put them in the fast lane where championship honours are concerned. Reigning drivers champion Nic Goslar and Richard Carolin, in the Kopanong Hotel Superteam Raceco, have some ground to make up. A good result in the Pilanesberg is a must.

Glen Gibson, in the Absolute Aceco and Naazim Moti and Feroze Doodha, in the Tyre Rack Racing Raceco, also have to make up lost ground. The odds, however, would tend to favour Schilling/Davies who have loads of experience with reliability the key to their success so far this season.

There is a great deal at stake for the top runners in Class A. That and the fact that there are so many potential winners floating around, is going to turn the Pilanesberg into a battle ground. A 55 kilometre prologue to determine start positions for the race proper will be run from 12h00 on Friday, May 11.

The main event will start at 07h30 on Saturday from the entrance of the Cascades complex, and all three loops will finish within the international motocross circuit in close proximity to the DSP. The motocross circuit offers plenty of vantage points and should provide for plenty of excitement. The first two loops are expected to take crews approximately 90 minutes to complete, while the final loop will take approximately two hours. This gives spectators plenty of time to take in action in the motocross complex and out on the route.

2007/05/08 | 11:28 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Charmaine Fortune

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