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ABSA 2012: A reduced majority for Vos and Howie in Production Class Toyota.





Team Castrol Toyota pair Duncan Vos and Rob Howie continue to lead the Production Vehicle category title race in the South African "Absa Off Road Championship" - but with a reduced majority.

Round five of the championship, the Sun City 400 in the Pilanesberg, saw former South African champion Vos and Howie drop 10 points to team-mates Anthony Taylor and Chris Birkin.

A 15 minute penalty for a designated service park infringement dropped Vos and Howie down to seventh in the final results, with second place for Taylor and Birkin narrowing the Production Vehicle championship gap to 23 points.

Taylor and Birkin are 14,5 points clear of 2010 champions Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst with the Team Ford Ranger crew now under huge pressure from RFS BMW youngsters Christiaan du Plooy and Henk Janse van Vuuren.

A podium finish on the Toyota 1000 Desert Race and a maiden victory on the Sun City 400, have lifted du Plooy and Janse van Vuuren to within half a point of Visser and Badenhorst.

The status quo is the same in the premier SP Class although the margins, thanks to anomalies in points awarded for overall and class finishes, are slightly different.Here 15 points separate Vos/Howie and Taylor/Birkin who are nine points clear of Visser/Badenhorst with du Plooy/Janse van Vuuren another 4,5 points in arrears.

A non finish on the Sun City event, their first of the season, cost Cliff Weichelt and Johann Smalberger (N1 4x4 Toyota Land Cruiser) dearly in the Class D championship race.

A 15th finish in 15 starts saw reigning champions Jack and Sarel Oosthuizen (LMC Land Rover) close to within 3,5 points of Weichelt, who commutes between Perth and South Africa for races, and Smalberger.

Weichelt’s son Louis and Maret Bezuidenhout, in the second N1 4x4 Toyota Land Cruiser, scored their second win in a row at Sun City but are 18,5 points behind the Oosthuizens in third place. Breathing down their necks are Johan and Werner Horn with the Malalane Toyota Land Cruiser pair only five points behind Weichelt and Bezuidenhout.

A fourth win in five events on the Sun City 400 has given Dirk Putter and Koos Claasens (4x4 Mega World Toyota Hilux) a tight grip on the Class E championship. The pair are now 23 points clear of KwaZulu-Natal crew Rowan Lamb and Lyle Parker in the ex factory Ford Ranger.

The next round of the championship is the 4x4 Mega World 400 at Carnival City on August 31 and September 1.

2012/08/07 | 16:31 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/FORTUNE











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