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









ABSA 2009: Matthews/Smith win Eastern Cape 400 Prologue.





The Century Racing BAT pair of Colin Matthews and Alan Smith today won the Special Vehicle category prologue at the Eastern Cape 400, round two of the Absa Off Road Championship, by just three seconds. Provisional results saw Matthews and Smith edge out former South African champions Evan Hutchison and Achim Bergmann (Motorite Revo1 4x4), with the prologue setting the scene for what is likely to turn into a highly interesting race. The prologue determined start positions for the race proper tomorrow with reigning champions Kallie and Quintin Sullwald third in the Sullwald Racing BAT.

The Sullwald’s were 53 seconds adrift of Hutchison/Bergmann over the testing 60 kilometre route. The surprise package in the top five were fourth placed Will Battershill and Reg Sutton, in a BAT, who relegated former champion Shameer Variawa and Siegfried Rousseau (Total Porter) to fifth place.

Hutchison and Bergmann won the opening event of the season in a car which made its debut on the Adenco 400 in the Western Cape. Today’s prologue showed that was no flash in the pan with the car an impressive piece of machinery designed and built by Bergmann.

"The car is good and the route was great but we have a tough day ahead of us," said Hutchison. "Two in a row would be nice but the times are close and our main aim will be to get the car to the finish."

KwaZulu-Natal crew Clint Gibson and Gary Campbell were sixth in the Gibson Plant Hire BAT with veteran Nardus Alberts and Geoff Minnitt seventh in the Wrapsa BAT. The top eight was rounded out by Lesotho crew John Moore and Leander Pienaar in the Groovebar Chev.

Adenco 400 winners Bes and Deon Bezuidenhout, in the Adenco BAT, dominated Class B. They had a clean run to open up a sizeable gap over John Telford/Jaco Swart (Calcamite Zarco Lite) and Grant Watkins in the Gecko singleseater.

KwaZulu-Natal crew Dom Thomson and Don Blakey (Zarco) set the pace in Class P but have former Class B champions Jan and Hendrik Kraaij (Keymax BAT) breathing down their necks. Only four seconds separates the two crews and a good scrap is in the offing.

Third were brothers David and Gary White (Ruwacon Racing BAT) with another set of brothers, Johan and Etienne Bezuidenhout, coming in fourth in the Adenco BAT. The Bezuidenhout’s won the Adenco 400 at the start of the season.

Tomorrow’s race starts at 08h30 at the Mentorskraal Country Estate on the outskirts of Jeffreys Bay. The designated service park is also situated at Mentorskraal with competitors completing two loops of a route that also includes the Longmore Forest.

2009/04/21 | 12:54 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Charmaine Fortune






















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