|ABSA 2010: Sullwald Family affair in 4x4 Mega World 400 BAT class.|
Two Sullwald teams on Saturday turned the Special Vehicle category on the 4x4 Mega World 400, round five of the South African Absa Off Road Championship, into a family affair.
Herman and Wichard Sullwald, in the Sullwald Racing SVR, crossed the finish line seconds ahead of Kallie and Quintin, in the Elegant Fuel BAT, to give the father and son teams a unique double. Brothers Herman and Kallie won the South African championship racing together in the mid 90s, Kallie and Quintin won the championship in 2008 and today’s result saw Wichard score his first ever national victory.
Only 13 seconds separated the two teams at the finish with Herman and Wichard starting fourth in Special Vehicle category and Kallie and Quintin seventh after the Donaldson Prologue on Friday to determine grid positions. Herman and Wichard lost time on the prologue when they stopped to help championship leaders Shameer Variawa and Siegfried Rousseau who were stuck in a donga in the Total Porter.
Ironically, Variawa built the SVR being campaigned this season by the Sullwald’s. A persistent misfire also hampered the winners with an errant plug lead at the root of the problem.
"The plug lead came loose just before the end of the first loop, and the misfire reappeared about 70 kilometres from the finish," said Herman. "We thought Kallie and Quintin would catch us, but there was a lot of dust out there and we were maintaining a steady pace."
For Kallie and Quintin it was another good result after their win on the Sun City 400. "It was a great day for family," said Kallie. "Second does our championship hopes no harm so we are happy."
A third father and son team, Nardus and Louis Alberts, crossed the line third in the Wrapsa BAT with the pair bouncing back after a disastrous Sun City 400 when a driveshaft broke on the start line and the pair covered all of five metres. But more disaster awaited the pair and they were penalised 30 minutes for deviating from the route.
That dropped them to 10th overall and seventh in Class A with Jimmy Zahos and Stefan Coetzee elevated to third for their first podium finish in the Cobalt Racing Porter. Steady drives took Nick Harper/Kevin Hume (Atlas Copco BAT) and Brett and Steve Parker (Jimco) into fifth and sixth. Three Class P crews in Archie Rutherford and Jacque le Roux (Regent Racing Jimco), Johan van Staden/James Rossouw (Atlas Copco BAT) and Etienne Lourens and Philip Herselman, in a second Atlas Copco BAT, completed the top eight.
The biggest losers on the day were Variawa and Rousseau and prologue winners Colin Matthews and Alan Smith in their first outing in the Century Racing CR3. A gearbox problem handed Variawa/Rousseau their second non finish of the season, with the reliability bogey again sidelining Matthews and Smith who retired early in the race with fuel pressure problems.
Rutherford and le Roux, making his national debut, won an interesting Class P tussle by 39 seconds from championship leaders van Staden/Rossouw. It was a great comeback by the Atlas Copco pair who started 28th among the Special Vehicles after a disappointing prologue.
There was also an impressive off road debut by former rally champion Lourens. He was walking around with a huge grin after he and Philip Herselman finished less than two minutes off the pace.
Veteran Bez Bezuidenhout and daughter-in-law Lindie (Adenco BAT) scored their second successive win to move into the lead in the Class B championship. The pair finished half an hour ahead of brothers Keith and Andrew Makenete, in a Zarco, and took control when Simon Beckett and Steve Harris (Century Racing BAT) retired.
2010/08/31 | 15:50 CET | EDITOR: MR/HS/FORTUNE