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ABSA 2009: Hutchison/Bergmann in charge of SV Championship

Three wins and a second have seen former champions Evan Hutchison and Achim Bergmann take a tight hold on the Special Vehicle category championship in the Absa Off Road Championship. At the halfway mark in the season Hutchison and Bergmann, in the Motorite Revo1 4x4, have a comfortable 39 point cushion over the consistent father and son pairing of Nick and Ryan Harper in the Atlas Copco BAT.

Hutchison and Bergmann had to be content with second place on the recent Toyota 1000 Desert Race in Botswana with Shameer Variawa and Siegfried Rousseau, in the Total Porter, making it two in a row after a thrilling battle on the final day.

The Toyota 1000 Desert Race win lifted Variawa/Rousseau into third place in the championship, just one point ahead of Michael Whitehouse and brother in law Mathew Carlson in the Regent Racing BAT. Whitehouse and Carlson fought their way to a solid fourth to maintain a 100 percent finish record this season.

The top five are rounded out by Limpopo crew Naeem Moosajee and Mohammad Moultson in the Tyre Rack Jimco. They were the last of the eight Special Vehicle category finishers - out of 28 starters - on a tougher than usual Toyota 1000 Desert Race and also preserved a 100 percent finish record.

A difference in the allocation of points for overall and class results presents a slightly different picture in the Class A championship. Here Whitehouse and Carlson slip into third place ahead of Moosajee/Moultson and Variawa/Rousseau.

For Hutchison and Bergmann it is a comfortable position. There are, however, four tough races to come and championships have in the past been lost from stronger mid season positions.

The Toyota 1000 Desert Race saw a change in the pecking order in Class B. Cape crew Derick du Toit and Ian Pienaar (Orange Tree BAT) scored their maiden national win and were the only Class B car to finish.

The win moved Du Toit and Pienaar ahead of another Cape Town crew, Bes and Deon Bezuidenhout, in the Adenco BAT. The Makenete brothers, Keith and Andrew, were also among the non finishers in a Zarco, but stay third in the championship.

Brothers David and Gary White, in the Ruwacon BAT, were the only finishers in Class P in Botswana. That moved them into second place in the championship on the same number of points as Johan van Staden and James Roussouw in the KEC BAT.

The Bezuidenhout brothers, Johan and Etienne, in the Adenco BAT, were also among those who failed to see out the full Desert Race distance. Despite that they still have a comfortable enough 17 point advantage at the top of the Class P leaderboard. The next race on the calendar is the Sun City 400 in the Pilanesberg on July 24 and 25.

2009/07/07 | 17:04 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Charmaine Fortune

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