|ABSA 2011: Logjam at the top of the 2011 Production Vehicle Championship.|
There is a logjam at the top of the Production Vehicle category championship with six crews still in with lifting the title at the final event of the South African ABSA Championship season, the "RFS Magalies 400", on November 11 and 12.
Three of the crews involved in the fight missed out on picking up valuable points on the recent Human Auto 400 in the Free State. Championship leaders Thomas Rundle and Juan Mohr (Barden Tyres Services Nissan Navara), Terence Marsh/George Smalberger (Regent Racing Nissan Navara) and Duncan Vos/Rob Howie, in the factory Team Castrol Toyota Hilux, all failed to see out the distance.
By contrast reigning champions Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst, in the Team Ford Ranger TDCi, roared back into contention with their second win of the season. Another steady performance by Jannie Visser and Joks le Roux (International Toyota Hilux) saw them keep their hopes alive and a brave performance saw Mike Whitehouse and Mathew Carlson, in the second Regent Racing Nissan Navara, rescue points that also keep them in the title hunt.
As matters stand 15,5 points separate the six crews with Rundle/Mohr leading Chris Visser and Badenhorst by five points with Visser’s brother Jannie and le Roux another five points in arrears. Whitehouse and Carlson are only a point behind Visser/le Roux and Marsh/Smalberger and Vos/Howie are tied a further four points back.
The position in the premier SP Class is even closer and here only 7,5 points separate the top five crews. Rundle/Mohr lead Marsh/Smalberger by three points with 2,5 points separating Whitehouse/Carlson, Visser/Badenhorst and Visser/le Roux.
By contrast the Class D championship is done and dusted by the father and son team of Jack and Sarel Oosthuizen runaway winners in a Land Rover. The Oosthuizens have a 100 percent finish record this season and even by dropping an event are well clear of last year’s champions Deon Venter and Ian Palmer in the 4x4 Mega World Toyota Hilux.
Venter and Palmer have won three times this season, but have not been able to match the Oosthuizens for consistency. Third in the championship are Louis Weichelt and Francis Boersma (N1 4x4 Toyota Land Cruiser) who have missed a couple of events.
The Class E drivers championship sees Diederik Hattingh (Transcor Toyota Hilux) holding a narrow three point lead over Human Auto 400 winner Dirk Putter in the Zizwe Toyota Hilux with Gerald le Roux (Ruwacon Ford Ranger) a long way back in third place. It is a different story among the co-drivers with Koos Claasens, who sits alongside Putter, well clear of le Roux’s co-driver Walter Hickley.
The RFS Magalies 400 will be based at the Tarlton International Raceway near Krugersdorp with race headquarters and the designated service point all situated within the sprawling complex. Public entry to these areas as well as spectator points along the route will be free of charge.
2011/11/01 | 15:12 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/FORTUNE