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ABSA South African Championship 2007 Special-Newssection

This is the single-news section of the special of the ABSA South African Offroad Championship series 2007. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Heritage/ABSA 2007: Bertholdt/Minnitt set the pace in the BAT-category.

Atlas Copco Porter pair Gary Bertholdt and Geoff Minnitt set the Special Vehicle pace today on the prologue for tomorrow’s Amathole 500. The event is round five of the Absa Off Road Championship and will be run in conjunction with the African Heritage Cross Country race. The African Heritage is round two of the FIA Cross Country World Cup and is the only event in South Africa this year counting towards a world series.

Bertholdt and Minnitt, who has replaced Henry Kirstein the Atlas Copco team after a nine month break from racing, and SA champion Alfie Cox/Hennie ter Stege (Motorite BAT) were the only Special Vehicle crew in the top 10 of the prologue. An ultra fast route played into the hands of the four-wheel drive brigade with the race likely to develop a similar pattern.

Cox and ter Stege in a Motorite BAT were a minute behind Bertholdt/Minnitt and 18 seconds ahead of the impressive Nardus Alberts/Collin Hunter (Wrapsa BAT). Former champion Shameer Variawa and Siegfried Rousseau were a further three seconds behind in the Total Motorsport Porter.

Closely bunched and not far behind the front runners were Evan Hutchison/Achim Bergman (Motorite BAT), Colin Matthews/Alan Smith (Century Property Development BAT), Toyota Desert Race winner Kallie Sullwald and Morne Moller (Sullwald Transport Zarco) and championship leaders Nick and Ryan Harper in another Atlas Copco entry.

There was no surprise in Class B where Hendrik and Jan Kraaij (Regent Racing BAT) were five minutes ahead of Marcus Taylor and Derek Keith in the JRE. The Kraaij’s have a 100 percent win record this season and have a tight grip on the championship. Johan Bezuidenhout/Etienne Bezuidenhout were third in the Adenco BAT with John Thomson/Clinton McNamara fourth in the Zarco.

Veteran former SA champion Richard Schilling and Chris Davies, in the Plastotech Aceco, dominated Class S. They came in ahead of Glen Gibson/Mark Whitehurst in the Absolute Aceco with Nic Goslar and Richard Carolin rounding out the top three in the Kopanong Hotel Superteam Raceco.

2007/07/30 | 14:22 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Charmaine Fortune

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