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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: Viriawa/Rousseau win Sun City 400 prologue in BAT-class.

Former South African champion Shameer Variawa and co-driver Siegfried Rousseau, in the Total Motorsport Porter, will start in pole position in the Special Vehicle category. Variawa and Rousseau edged out championship leaders Nick and Ryan Harper, in the Atlas Copco BAT, by only nine seconds. The Sun City 400 is round three of the Absa Off Road Championship and with the Harpers having win and a third so far this season, the father/son combination currently lead the overall and Class A championships.

Third fastest, just two seconds behind the Harpers, were Gary Bertholdt and Henry Kirstein in the Atlas Copco Porter. With just 11 seconds between the top three crews, the pace at the front of the field is going to be fast and furious.

Fourth fastest were Karl-Heinz Sullwald/Mannetjies Helberg with Naeem Moosajee/Rayhoon Bodhanya (Tyre Rack Racing Jimco) fifth and Herman Sullwald and Morne Moller sixth. Both Sullwald teams were out in Sullwald Transport Zarco entries.

A number of the more fancied Special Vehicle entrants also ran into problems. Chief among them were reigning SA champions Alfie Cox and Hennie ter Stege and Motorite BAT team-mates Evan Hutchison and Achim Bergman. Both crews are out in new Spec 3 BAT entries and ran into teething problems. Cox/ter Stege were 18th fastest with Hutchison/Bergmann 19th and both teams face a hard race after running into overheating and brake problems.

Championship leaders Hendrik and Jan Kraaij, in the Regent BAT, continued their good form by setting the fastest time in Class B. The Kraaij’s have won both events run so far this season, and came in ahead of Johan Bezuidenhout and Etienne Bezuidenhout in the Adenco BAT, and Ernest Corbett/Warwick Goosen in the Century Property Development BAT.

Veterans Richard Schilling and Chris Davies set the Class S pace in the Plastotech Aceco. Schilling and Davies have also won both events run so far this season, and were just under two minutes ahead of Glen Gibson in the Absolute Aceco, with Nic Goslar/Richard Carolin third in the Kopanong Hotel Superteam Raceco.

The general consensus after the prologue was that it is going to be a tough race. The majority of crews were in agreement that the route will be rough, with heat and dust additional aggravating factors. "This is always a hard race and the route for the prologue was rough," said Schilling. "We are in for a tough day tomorrow and there is going to be a high rate of attrition."

The race will be run over three loops with the first car scheduled to start at 07h30. The first two loops of the race will be run over 80 kilometres with a final loop of 120 kilometres.

2007/05/13 | 14:02 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Charmaine Fortune

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