|NROC SA 2012: Top Entry for Barberspan 200, South Africa´s NROC opener.|
A top class entry will line-up for the Barberspan 200, opening round of the South African "Northern Region Off Road Championship" (not ABSA!), in North West on Saturday (February 18).
The Barberspan event traditionally draws a large entry, and competitors will be raring to go after a lengthy off-season break. A number of ABSA national championship regulars will also be using the event to shake down machinery for the opening event of the season, the RFS Magalies 400 on March 9 and 10, and will add to spectator value.
One top crew missing over the weekend will be reigning Special Vehicle champions Jaco and Jan van Aardt. The pair dominated last season but work commitments will see them miss the season pipe opener.
Despite the absence of the van Aardt’s the competition in Class P is going to be fierce. Veteran Giel Nel and Johan de Klerk have fitted a V6 motor to their KEC Zarco and consistency will again be a weapon for the pair.
Johan Mictchell/Naldo Pieterse will be looking for a return to form this season, and Kobus Bekker/Morne Calitz are back in action after missing most of last season due to work commitments .Ferdie Pieterse and Craig Galvin will be out in the ex Czepek Raceco and, along with Greg Higgins and Jeremy Wood (WPP) will be aiming at running at the front of the field.
Class B will see a resumption of the rivalry between Marthinus le Roux/Gustav Pienaar and the father and son combination of Tony and Michael Gouveia. Veteran former champion Wolf-Peter Pfumfei will also be back in action in a WPP and with his vast experience is always a threat.
Production Vehicle champions Jason Venter and Vincent van Alleman have moved into the ABSA national series and the loss of the 4x4 Mega World pair leaves a big hole in the category. The spotlight will now fall on the likes of Jaco Visser and Werner Weiss who will be out in the ex Vossies SP Toyota Hilux converted to Class D specs, and Theo and William Wagner in a Nissan Hardbody.
Class E also looks to have interesting possibilities. Lappies Labuschagne and Andre Brits, in the KEC Ford Ranger, and Johan Griffioen and Willem Marais (Force Fuel Toyota)will be chased by Ian Boshoff and Douw Grobler and Gene Boshoff and Lottter Klein with the Boshoff brothers hoping for better results this season.
Newcomers Jaandre Coetzee and Pieter Jacobs will also be making their race debut in the Discovery Drilling Toyota Hilux bakkie and their progress will be watched with interest.
National champion Jannie Visser, who is race organiser, reports a fair bit of rain in the Barberspan area. This should reduce the dust factor and lead to some interesting racing.
Some big names from the ABSA national series will make the trip to Barberspan. Included among the Production Vehicle category are veteran former South African champion Hannes Grobler and Hennie ter Stege and RFS team-mates Christiaan du Plooy and Henk Janse van Vuuren.
On the Special Vehicle front local resident Neil Meyer will be doing more development work on the futuristic Zarco with Dakar Rally finisher Mark Corbett out in a Jimco. There will also be a great deal of interest in the husband and wife team of Marius and Jolinda Fourie who this season will move from Class P into the premier Class A category in a BAT.
Race headquarters will be at the Mareetsane Boere Saal S 26 08.776 and E025 25.632. The prologue to determine grid positions will start at 09h00 and the race at 12h00.
After the event there will be an evening of free entertainment with musicians Peter Naude, brother of well known performer Juanita du Plessis, and up and coming musician Bertie van Wyk.
2012/02/11 | 14:24 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/FORTUNE/MOTORPICS.CO.ZA