|ABSA 2010: Underdogs set to have their day on 4x4 Mega World 400 Rally.|
The underdog will be ready to growl again in the second half of the South African Absa Off Road Championship - starting with the 4x4 Mega World 400 at Carnival City on the East Rand on August 27 and 28.
Privateers have won three of the four events so far this season in the Production Vehicle category with rookies also winning three times in Class D. In the Special Vehicle category the Pretoria based pair of Johan van Staden and James Rossouw (Atlas Copco BAT) made history when they became the first Class P crew to win an event overall, and they are second in the championship.
Prior to winning the recent Sun City 400 the best result the Regent Racing Nissan Navara team of Terence Marsh and Buks Carolin had managed was an eighth and they were 12th in the championship. Thomas Rundle and Juan Mohr also finished on the podium at Sun City after two non finishes in the Barden Tyre Nissan Navara.
Sun City also saw privateers Kobus van Tonder and Freddie Kriel (Uni Freight Ford Ranger) grab a top five finish ahead of the RFS Toyota Hilux team of Chris du Plooy and Henk Janse van Vuuren. Van Tonder and his son-in-law went two better than Rundle and Mohr and scored their first finish in four outings.
Down in Class E teenage rookie Lance Woolridge, paired with the experienced Ward Huxtable in the Team Ford Racing Ranger, has won twice this year and the pair lead the championship. Another rookie crew, Gerald le Roux and Willem Pretorius (Ruwacon Racing Ford Ranger) won first time out this year and were second at Sun City.
In the Special Vehicle category the Sun City outing also produced signs that less fancied crews are flexing their muscles. In only his second season colourful former quad racer Jimmy Zahos (Cobalt Racing Porter) is matching the top teams for pace and was fourth in Class A at Sun City - despite finishing the race on his own after dispensing with the services of his co-driver at the designated service point.
Swaziland crew John Thomson and Clinton McNamara (Zarco) also gave notice of things to come. They produced their best result with sixth overall and second in Class P after leading the category at the designated service point.
Behind Thomson/McNamara brothers Brett and Steve Parker showed plenty of potential and were seventh overall in their first outing in a Jimco. The car was previously raced by Polokwane crew Naeem Moosajee and Rayhaan Bodhanya.
Rookies Neil Meyer and Leon Muller (Zarco Magnum) were an impressive eighth overall and Keith du Toit and veteran Lesotho co-driver Ashley Thorn, with new sponsor Bokomo on board, snatched a top 10 finish.
"It is refreshing to see less experienced crews starting to put pressure on the more established teams," said SA National Off Road Car Racing Association chairman Richard Schilling. "The competition throughout the various categories is now intense and that is good for the sport."
The 4x4 Mega World 400 at Carnival City 400 sees the Absa series move into the second half of the season with some tight championship battles. Championship contenders, and those who are playing catch up, need good points hauls and that sets the scene for interesting racing.
Race headquarters, the start/finish and designated service point will all be located at Carnival City. The route is again spectator friendly with numerous viewing points within easy reach of race headquarters and public access to all these areas is free of charge.
2010/08/02 | 18:08 CET | Editor: MR/HS/FORTUNE