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Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014


Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014


Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014













































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ABSA 2012: Titles at stake in Production Class at ABSA Championship finale.






A pair of factory heavyweights will slug it out with two national Production Vehicle titles at stake, and an old warrior will ride off into the sunset on the Gold 400, the final round of the Absa Off Road Championship, on the West Rand this weekend (November 23 and 24).

Taking each other on in fights for the overall Production Vehicle and premier SP Class titles will be championship leaders Duncan Vos and Rob Howie, from the Team Castrol Toyota Hilux corner, and Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst from the Ford Racing Ranger stable. With an overall championship lead of 18,5 points and 25 to play for over the weekend the odds are on the Toyota team – but this is motor racing and anything can happen.

Against the background of the Toyota/Ford battle a touch of nostalgia will infiltrate proceedings when old warrior Hannes Grobler comes under starting orders for the last time in the RFS BMW X3. Multiple South Africa track, rally and off road champion Grobler will retire after a career spanning more than three decades.

The Gold 400 is also the final event to be run under the Absa banner. An 11 year association between Absa and off road racing ends this weekend with new sponsors on board for next year.

Former champion Vos and Howie have been at the sharp end of the overall and SP Class championship battles throughout the season. Matters have not gone that smoothly for Visser and Badenhorst, and it has taken a pair of successive victories on the 4x4 Mega World 400 and Human Auto 400 to propel them back into the title contention.

As is so often the case in title races of this nature both championships at stake could ultimately be settled by crews other than the two teams locked in battle. This is particularly true where Vos and Howie are concerned.

Nothing but a win will suffice for Visser and Badenhorst and Vos/Howie will be looking to team-mates Anthony Taylor and Chris Birkin and other Toyota Hilux runners to run interference. For their part Visser and Badenhorst will be asking for a supreme effort from team-mates Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable in the second factory Ford Ranger.

Upstaging the title combatants and taking a farewell win would, of course, be a fairytale farewell for Grobler and Hennie ter Stege. They are among a string of crews in a highly competitive SP Class who could end up on the top step of the podium – and that simply adds to the intrigue.

Christiaan du Plooy and Henk Janse van Vuuren won the Sun City 400 in the second RFS BMW X3 and Gary Bertholdt/Ralph Pitchford would like to end a disappointing season on a high note in the Atlas Copco Toyota Hilux. Louw de Bruin/Riaan Greyling (Ruwacon Ford Ranger) have come up with some solid performances this season and Deon Venter and Ian Palmer return to action in the 4x4 Mega World Toyota Hilux.

A strong challenge will also come from the Regent Racing Nissan Navara entries in the hands of Mike Whitehouse/Matthew Carlson and Terence Marsh/George Smalberger. Whitehouse and Marsh are brothers in law and with three points separating them in the championship a little cameo performance is on the cards.

Two other Regent Racing entries won’t feature in the title battles but add a little spice to the menu. Archie Rutherford will be partnered by cricket legend Jonty Rhodes in the SA Warranties Nissan Navara, and German driver Jurgen Schroder will team up with Gerhard Schutte in the SP Laser Nissan Navara.

A final twist is the fact that the Gold 400 battle will be fought on ‘neutral’ territory. The race is the third this season to be run in virgin territory and provides a level playing field for a dramatic end to the Absa series.

Both the Class D and Class E championships have been settled and here the action will be of academic interest only. Australian resident Cliff Weichelt and Johan Smalberger (N1 4x4 Toyota Land Cruiser) wrapped up the Class D championship on the Human Auto 400, and Dirk Putter and Koos Claasens (4x4 Mega World Toyota Hilux) did the same in Class E.

With six wins and a second in seven starts so far Putter/Claasens are the standout crew of the season. Another win would cap a remarkable championship for the pair.

Race headquarters, the start/finish and the designated service park will all be located 70 kilometres from Johannesburg at the Kloof Country Club in Glenharvie. Public entry to these areas and spectator points along the route is free of charge.

The Donaldson Prologue to determine race grid positions will start at 12:30 on November 23 and the race at 08:30 on November 24.

2012/11/19 | 12:53 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/FORTUNE











Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:33 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:24 |




Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014 02:40 |




Defender Challenge VIDEO: Impressions of the series by Bowler Rd 4 Wales | 29.08.2014 01:31 |




Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014 01:27 |




Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014 00:47 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:10 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:08 |




Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014 16:33 |




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014 04:57 |




Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014 04:48 |




Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014 02:20 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 01:56 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 00:44 |




Rally dos Sertões: KTM’s Marc Coma hangs on to overall lead in dos Sertoes. | 27.08.2014 23:48 |




Rally dos Sertões: Paulo Gonçalves clinches victory in SS04 - the longest stage. | 27.08.2014 23:32 |




Desafío Inca: German manufacturer battle - X-Raid Mini vs SAM Mercedes CC | 27.08.2014 19:26 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:33 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:29 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 17:55 |




Rally dos Sertões: Both Ford Rangers reached top speeds above 175 km/h. | 27.08.2014 17:07 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Onboard with X-Rally Ford Ranger Baumgart / Cincea | 27.08.2014 16:35 |




Rally dos Sertões: Stagewin for Toyota´s Varela in S3 but Spinelli still leader. | 27.08.2014 16:19 |




Rally dos Sertões: Goncalves - "Hope to ride hard without making mistakes" | 27.08.2014 16:00 |




Rally dos Sertões: Marc Coma wins again in Bikes and remains the leadership. | 27.08.2014 15:35 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 19:14 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 18:57 |




Baja Poland: X-raid with four Mini All4 Racing - chase for World Cup continues. | 26.08.2014 17:21 |




Baja Poland: Overdrive Racing with five Toyota Hilux and Nasser Al Attiyah. | 26.08.2014 16:45 |




Rally dos Sertões: Mitsubishi´s Spinelli / Haddad the new leader in the cars. | 26.08.2014 05:17 |




Rally dos Sertões: Gonçalves wins SS2 in Bikes but Coma still overall leader. | 26.08.2014 05:02 |




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Nice impressions from the first days in Brazil (79) | 26.08.2014 04:53 |




Baja Poland VIDEO: Official trailer of the Baja Poland FIA CC World Cup 2014 | 26.08.2014 04:32 |




Donaldson CC: Test of character for the teams at South African Vryburg 450 | 26.08.2014 03:49 |




Rallyraid: Kamaz Master legend Ilgizar Mardeev tragically died in an accident. | 26.08.2014 03:09 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 02:30 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 01:59 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Driving onboard with Overdrive Toyota Hilux of Verala | 26.08.2014 01:46 |




Rally dos Sertões: Honda´s Paulo Goncalves wins second stage in the bikes. | 26.08.2014 01:28 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment video of SS01 Sunday (crash) | 26.08.2014 00:56 |




















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