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This is the single-news section of the news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

ABSA 2009: Corbett/Balzer spring Nissan Sugarbelt 400 surprise.

The Century Property Development Racing pair of Mark Corbett and Rudi Balzer sprang a surprise when they raced to victory on the Nissan Sugarbelt 400 prologue on Friday. Provisional results for the prologue, to determine start positions for Saturady’s third round of the Absa Off Road Championship, saw Corbett and Balzer bring the CR1 4x4 home 14 seconds ahead of Century Property Development Racing BAT team-mates Colin Matthews and Marc de Chalain. Since making its debut last season the CR1 has been plagued by reliability problems and has not yet finished a race.

"Hopefully the law of averages is now on our side," said Corbett. "It was a good result for us but winning the race is what counts."

Third fastest were former South African champions Evan Hutchison and Achim Bergmann in another 4x4 entry. In stark contrast to the CR1, however, the Motorite Revo1 4x4 in the hands of Hutchison and Bergmann has won twice in two starts. "A hattrick of wins would be nice, but this is traditionally a tough race," said Hutchison. "We could not have asked for a better start to the season, but the main aim tomorrow will be to get the car home in one piece."

Herman and Wichard Sullwald, in the Sullwald Racing Zarco, and Mike Whitehouse and Mathew Carlson (Regent Racing BAT) completed the top five. The steady Whitehouse and Carlson currently lie second in the overall and Class A championship.

Just under two minutes separated the top five with Jimmy Zahos and Stefan Coetzee (Mountain Dew Porter) and Jan and Hendrik Kraaij (Keymax BAT) next up. The Kraaij’s were the first of the Class P entries and were 29 seconds ahead of local crew Don Thompson and Don Blakey in a Zarco.

Thompson and Blakey were only six seconds ahead of reigning Class P champions, brothers Johan and Etienne Bezuidenhout, in the Adenco BAT. Only 35 seconds separated the first three cars in Class P with a good battle on the cards in the race.

Slotting in behind the two Class P crews was former SA champion Atang Makgekgenene who completed the prologue on his own in an ageing ex Gary Bertholdt Raceco. For the race Makgekgenene will be joined by Lesotho co-driver Victor Raseabane.

Also out on his own is local driver Brett Gurney in a JRE who set the fastest time in Class B. He was followed by another local crew in Marcus Taylor and Derek Keith, also in a JRE, and championship leaders Bes and Deon Bezuidenhout in the Adenco BAT.

A miserable start to the season continued for reigning South African champions Kallie and Quintin Sullwald in the Sullwald Racing BAT. An early encounter with a gate and a fence saw them classified as non finishers.

A drive shaft problem also sidelined Naeem Moosajee and Mohamed Moultson in the TyreRack Jimco. Both crews, however, will start from the back of the field. The start/finish and designated service point for tomorrow’s race are all at the Beaumont Eston Farmers Club. The race starts at 08h00 with the first cars expected at the finish at around 3pm.

2009/05/18 | 02:45 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Charmaine Fortune

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