|ABSA 2010: Huge entry for 4x4 Mega World Rally at Carvival City.|
A huge entry and some interesting developments have conspired to add a little spice to the 4x4 Mega World 400 at Carnival City, round five of the South African Absa Off Road Championship, on August 27 and 28. The event is one of selected races that will see a round of the Northern Regions championship run in conjunction with the national series. The initiative is part of a drive by the SA National Off Road Car Racing Association to promote off road racing at grass roots level.
"Entries closed over the weekend but we already have around 78 vehicles entered," said race director Adri Roets. "There are always a few late entries and we expect the final tally to be around 85 vehicles in the Special Vehicle and Production Vehicle categories."
On the crew front there have been a few changes since the Sun City 400 last month. Veteran Ernest Corbett has decided to retire from racing and this has led to a shake-up in the Century Racing team.
Colin Matthews and Alan Smith will switch to the Century Racing CR3 previously driven in Class P by Mark Corbett and Rudi Balzer. The car has again been upgraded to Class A specifications, and Matthews/Smith will be hoping for a better reliability record than they enjoyed in the ageing Century Racing BAT.
Corbett and Balzer will stay in Class P but will take over the Century Racing CR2 previously campaigned by Corbett senior and son-in-law Warwick Goosen. The futuristic CR2 won Class P at last year’s Sun City 400 and the car is competitive.
Another Century Racing entry will see Simon Beckett and Steve Harris out in a BAT in Class B. Also making a Class B appearance will be former Production Vehicle stalwart Coetzee Labuscagne, with the former Blue Bulls scrum-half sharing a Zarco with daughter Sandra.
The Class A battle will see charismatic former quad racer Jimmy Zahos reunited with Stefan Coetzee in the Cobalt Racing Porter, with another top South African off road motorcycle star also in action. Zahos finished fourth in class at the Sun City 400 and completed the race on his own after dispensing with the service of co-driver Pierre Jordaan at the designated service point.
Multiple SA off road motorcycle champion Kriel will co-drive for KwaZulu-Natal star Lance Trethewey (LT Earthmovers BAT) who picked up a top five finish on the Atlas Copco Sugarbelt 400 earlier in the season. Kriel joins another top motorcycle star in Darryl Curtis, who made his debut alongside Evan Hutchison in the Motorite BAT, at Sun City.
A compact route also sees off road enthusiasts well catered for with no fewer than 19 spectator points within easy reach of race headquarters at Carnival City. Public access to spectator points is free of charge with the furthest viewing area only 40 kilometres from race headquarters.
"The viewing points offer the potential for some spectacular action," said Roets. "Spectator guides will be available at race headquarters and all we ask is that enthusiasts respect the environment."
The Donaldson Prologue to determine start position for the 4x4 Mega World 400 will start at 11:30 on Friday, August 27 and will be run over a 60 kilometre route. The race proper will start at 08:00 on Saturday, August 28.
2010/08/14 | 23:09 CET | Editor: MR/HS/FORTUNE