|ABSA 2011: Second Toyota Desert Race Buggy triumph for Sullwald BAT-Team.|
Reigning South African champions Kallie and Quintin Sullwald produced a copybook performance to win their second Toyota 1000 Desert Race, run of the South African "ABSA Championship".
The father and son team from Phalaborwa, in the Elegant Fuel BAT, outlasted former SA champion Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen in the Motorite Revo with the final margin between the two teams just over five minutes. In the process the Sullwald’s consolidated their position at the top of the Special Vehicle and Class A championships, and added to their success on the 2007 Toyota Desert Race.
The Sullwald’s finished second to Hutchison and Stassen on Friday on the Donaldson Prologue to determine race grid positions, and thereafter fought a cat and mouse game with the Motorite crew. The scales gradually tipped the way of the Sullwald’s on the last of the two 200 kilometre loops that made up today’s race distance.
"We never had to get out of the car on the route, and that is the secret to success on this race," said Sullwald senior. "Our only problem was a gearbox cooler hiccup which was quickly sorted out. We maintained a steady pace throughout and it was the near perfect race." There was a touch of deja vu for Hutchison and Stassen at the finish. The Motorite Revo died on the line and had to be pushed into the post race parc ferme.
Former Class P champions Johan van Staden and James Rossouw (Atlas Copco BAT) picked up their best result of the season with their first podium since moving into Class A. In a close finish they were only 22 seconds ahead of Shameer Variawa and Siegfried Rousseau, in the Varigo Racing BAT, who were looking for a fourth Desert Race win in a row.
A fine performance took Brett Parker, partnered by VZ van Zyl who won this race in 2002 with Greg Daus, into fifth in a Jimco. It was Parker’s first top five finish and he and van Zyl held off Class P winners Archie Rutherford and Mike Lawrenson in the Regent Racing Jimco.
It was a second win in a row for the Regent Racing team after coming from behind for victory on the recent Atlas Copco 400. Nick Goslar and Andrew Massey (Men’s Health Zarco) were the only other Class P finishers.
Jimmy Zahos and Stefan Coetzee (Cobalt Racing Porter) produced their best result of the season to finish seventh overall, with Hermann and Wichard Sullwald right behind them in the Sullwald Racing SVR. The two Sullwald crews arrived in Botswana tied at the top of the championship with Nick and Ryan Harper (Motorite BAT) two points adrift.
The Harpers were day two casualties with the Sullwald’s, by contrast to their sister team, going through a weekend of pain. They were plagued throughout by suspension and other problems but held on to salvage valuable championship points.
The conditions also took a heavy toll on Class B competitors with no classified finishers in the category.
2011/07/04 | 17:10 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/FORTUNE