|ABSA 2010: A dream win for the Sullwald Team on Sun City 400 Rally.|
In a dream result Kallie and Quintin Sullwald took a flag to flag victory in the Special Vehicle category at the Sun City 400, round four of the South African Absa Off Road Championship. The former South African champions, in the Elegant Fuel Racing BAT, dominated the weekend by winning the Donaldson Prologue to determine start positions. The father and son combination then controlled the race from start to finish to score their first win of the season.
For the second year in a row current championship leaders Shameer Variawa and Siegfried Rousseau, in the Total Motorsport Porter,had to be content with second place. It was a great performance from the pair who started 15th on the road and gradually worked their way through the field.
"Halfway through the second loop we stopped chasing and decided to consolidate our championship lead," said Variawa. "It was a typical Sun City 400 where the slightest mistake could cost you."
Third were Atlas Copco BAT crew Johan van Staden and James Rossouw who came up with another outstanding performance on the way to winning Class P. Earlier in the season the Pretoria crew made history by becoming the first Class P crew to win a national event overall.
"That was a real off road race," Sullwald senior enthused afterwards. "A tough route had everything you could ask for, and at the end we were under pressure from Shameer and Siegfried."At one stage we thought we had a brake problem. Then we thought we had a flat but it all worked out and this is a dream result for us."
Fourth place went to Nick Harper and stand-in co-driver Kevin Hume, in the Atlas Copco BAT, who were involved in a controversial incident early in the day. They collided with Production Vehicle leaders Anthony Taylor and Robin Houghton in an incident that put the Team Castrol Toyota Hilux out of the race.
In their best result of the season Naeem Moosajee and Rayhaan Bodhanya (Maxxis TyreRack Porter) started ninth and finished fifth. They were followed by Jimmy Zahos (Cobalt Racing Porter) who finished the race on his own after dispensing with the services of co-driver Pierre Jordaan at the designated service point.
"I wasn’t happy with some of Pierre’s calls," said Zahos. "I felt the situation was getting dangerous, and told him at the compulsory stop that I would prefer to finish the event on my own."
There was early drama when Bevan Bertholdt and Danie Stassen, second on the Donaldson Prologue on Friday, failed to make it to the start with an engine problem. Then Nardus and Louis Alberts, in the Wrapsa BAT, managed only a few metres off the start line when a drive shaft broke.
They were soon joined on the sidelines by reigning South African driver’s champion Evan Hutchison and new co-driver Darryl Curtis in the Motorite BAT. They were forced to call it a halt when the power steering broke, and Colin Matthews and Alan Smith (Century Racing BAT) were also casualties on the first of two loops that made up the race.
The early demise of Bertholdt/Stassen, the Wrapsa and Motorite entries and the Matthews/Smith car played into the hands of the crews who started behind them. An early charge by Swaziland crew John Thomson and Clinton McNamara, in a Zarco, also fizzled out with the pair dropping back with brake problems on the second loop.
A second loop charge lifted van Staden/Rossouw onto the podium while Harper/Hume lost time with a puncture. Hume was standing in for Harper’s son Ryan who was injured in an off road motorcycle accident.
Thomson and McNamara finished second in Class P and were followed by veteran Ernest Corbett and son-in-law Warwick Goosen in the Century Racing CR2. Corbett and Goosen won this race last year.
In his first outing this season Cape veteran Bes Bezuidenhout, partnered by daughter-in-law Lindie and having his first outing in 11 months, won Class B in the Adenco BAT. They were the only finishers in the class and were hampered on the second loop by a burst shock absorber.
The next event on the Absa Off Road Championship calendar is the 4x4 Mega World 400 at Carnival City on August 27 and 28.
2010/07/19 | 14:51 CET | Editor: MR/HS/FORTUNE