|Donaldson CC: Taylor/Murphy take 10-point lead in Production Vehicles.|
Victory on the "Sun City 400", round five of the South African "Donaldson Cross Country Championship", has taken Team Castrol Toyota Hilux crew Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy into what could turn out to be a decisive 10 point lead in the Production Vehicle title race.
Taylor and Murphy scored their third win in a row on a fast and dusty race in the Pilanesberg, and led home team-mates Duncan Vos and Rob Howie after a tense battle between the Castrol Toyota and Ford Racing factory teams. Taylor and Murphy went into the event level on points with former South African champions Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst in the Ford Ranger.
Visser and Badenhorst scored their fifth podium finish in a row when they came home third ahead of team-mates Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable. Gary Bertholdt and Siegfried Rousseau, in their second outing in the Atlas Copco Nissan Navara, completed the top five.
Taylor/Murphy now have a 10 point lead over Visser/Badenhorst in what is developing into an intriguing title race. Reigning champions Vos and Howie are third and trail the Ford crew by 27.5 points with 25 points on offer for a win.
Consistency has taken Johan van Staden and Mike Lawrenson into fourth place in the championship in the Atlas Copco Toyota Hilux. They trail Vos and Howie by 26.5 points and have a tenuous 4.5 point advantage over team-mates Bertholdt and Rousseau.
With scoring anomalies for points awarded in the overall and class championships now a thing of the past, the status quo remains exactly the same in the premier SP Class championship. With three rounds of the Donaldson series remaining the scene is set for tense finishes to both the overall and SP Class championships.
There is no change in the Class D championship. Here North West crew Jason Venter and Vincent van Allemann (Trysome Toyota Hilux) have a 10 point lead over former champions Jack and Sarel Oosthuizen in the LMC Land Rover.
Johan and Werner Horn (Malalane Toyota Land Cruiser) are a further 13 points in arrears with inconsistency a problem for the Mpumalanga brothers. They led home Venter and van Allemann at Sun City but it was only their second finish in five events.
Reigning champions Dirk Putter and Koos Claasens (Ford Ranger) continue to lead the way in Class E. Putter has a 27 point lead over Douglas Fear (Brytons Removal Toyota Hilux) in the driver stakes while Claasens, who missed the Sun City race, had a big enough cushion over Kurt de Villiers to maintain his lead at the top of the co-driver standings.
Fear and de Villiers scored a maiden win at Sun City with Putter linking up with stand-in navigator Sarel Kriek. Mechanical problems plagued the pair who were the last of the classified finishers. The next event in the Donaldson Cross Country Championship is the Vryburg 400 on September 6 and 7.
2013/08/08 | 22:37 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/FORTUNE