|ABSA 2010: Winner takes all in Special Vehicle Championship Shooutout.|
It will be an OK Corral winner takes all shootout in the Special Vehicle category at the final round of the South African Absa Off Road Championship at Tarlton International Raceway on Friday and Saturday.
Going at each other with all guns blazing will be overall championship leaders Shameer Variawa and Siegfried Rousseau, in the Team Total Porter, and the father and son combination of Kallie and Quinton Sullwald in the Elegant Fuel BAT. Just six points separate the two crews with all sorts of permutations, including a tie, coming into play.
A tie - it would need the Sullwald’s to win with Variawa/Rousseau second - would see the two crews level with three wins each. The title would then go the way of the Sullwald’s on a count out of second places.
Added interest comes by way of a second Sullwald father and son team, Herman and Wichard (Sullwald Racing SVR), joining the action in the Class A championship. This is a situation brought on by anomalies in off road scoring but, more important, the second Sullwald car could play a major role in the ultimate destiny of the championship.
In among all the uncertainty there is one certainty - Variawa/Rousseau and the two Sullwald crews won’t pussyfoot around with tactics and permutations. All three teams will be out to win, and the fact they will be up against two cars from the same stable is the rub of the green for the Team Total crew.
There are, of course, other teams who could throw the various permutations into disarray. It must surely be a matter of time before Colin Matthews and Alan Smith (Century Racing CR3) get all their sums right and crack a win. Another father and son pair in Nardus and Louis Alberts (Wrapsa BAT) have been in good form since their Sun City 400 debacle, while outgoing drivers champion Evan Hutchison and motorcycle ace Darryl Curtis (Motorite Revo1 4x4) have looked menacing only for mechanical woes to intervene.
KwaZulu-Natal pair Clint Gibson and Gary Campbell (Gibson Racing SVR) are capable of an upset while Naeem Moosajee and Rayhaan Bodhanya (Maxxis/Tyre Rack Porter) will be aiming to end on a high. David White also makes a welcome return in his Class A debut in a Ruwacon BAT with Eugene Coetzee doing the co-driving.
Class P champions Johan van Staden and James Rossouw (Atlas Copco BAT) are top five candidates and in a little cameo Nick Harper (Atlas Copco BAT), Jimmy Zahos (Cobalt Racing Porter) and Archie Rutherford, in the Regent Racing Jimco running in Class P, are separated by two points in the drivers championship. Harper, Zahos and Rutherford have all made use of more than one co-driver during the season.
Regulars like Keith du Toit/Ashley Thorn (White Star Racing BAT) will be joined by a number of Northern Regions series crews making the jump to national level. Jacques Wheeler and the experienced Danie Stassen will be out in the late Bevan Bertholdt’s lab88 BAT, with David and Louw Zeelie out in an Aceco, Dino Scribante and Justin Fuchs in a BAT and Edoardo and Ricardo Argazzi in the new Zarco Magnum.
At the end of the day it will all boil down to the battle between Variawa/Rousseau and the Sullwald’s. It is going to be fast and furious and could be riddled with unexpected turns.
The Class B championship has already been settled in favour of Cape veteran Bes Bezuidenhout and daughter-in-law Lindie in the Adenco BAT. A win on the Human Auto 400 took them clear of Coetzee Labuscagne and daughter Sandra (Raysonics Zarco) who now have to see off a challenge from Keith and Andrew Makenete in another Zarco.
The Labuscagne’s lead the Makenete’s by four points in the battle for second place in what should be a good family fight. The Class B entry is filled out by Johan de Klerk and Lappies Labuschagne and the UTV Racing entries of Stratford Voogt and Sidriaan de Villiers and Dwayne Voogt and Harry Steffen.
The Class P brigade will be racing mainly for pride. Van Staden and Rossouw clinched the championship in the Free State but will be under pressure from Rutherford and Mike Lawrenson, Swaziland flyers John Thomson and Clinton McNamara (Zarco), Johan and Deon Bezuidenhout (Adenco BAT) and the Century Racing CR2 in the hands of Mark Corbett and Rudi Balzer.
One point separates Johan Bezuidenhout and Corbett among the drivers, and two points is the difference between Deon Bezuidenhout, Balzer and McNamara in the co-driver stakes. The husband and wife pair of Marius and Jolinda Fourie have been impressive since moving up from the regional ranks, and there will be plenty of rivalry among veteran crews like Richard Schilling/Chris Davies (Aceco), Bodo Bertholdt/Phillip Herselman (Atlas Copco BAT) and Nic Goslar/Richard Carolin in the Men’s Health International Zarco.
2010/11/15 | 12:04 PM CET | EDITOR: MR/HS/FORTUNE