Cracker of a sea­son fi­nale set for the Wild West Rand

The Star Early Edition - - MOTORSPORT - MO­TOR­SPORT COR­RE­SPON­DENT

THE CAN­CEL­LA­TION of the penul­ti­mate Donaldson Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onship round, which was to be held last month in the Free State, has set up an ex­cit­ing sea­son fi­nale set to hap­pen on Gaut­eng’s West Rand this week­end.

Un­der cur­rent Cross Coun­try rules teams are re­quired to drop one race’s points haul at the end of the sea­son, which can be a se­ri­ous dis­ad­van­tage to crews with 100 per­cent fin­ish­ing records. But, with the pre­vi­ous round fall­ing away and au­to­mat­i­cally count­ing as the dropped race, teams such as Class T’s con­sis­tently-scor­ing Jo­han and Werner Horn (Malalane Toy­ota Hilux) are back in cham­pi­onship con­tention with a level play­ing field.

The Horns, who were sched­uled to lose eight points, now go into this week­end’s At­las Copco 450 with a math­e­mat­i­cal shot at over­tak­ing over­all and Class T points lead­ers An­thony Tay­lor and Den­nis Murphy (Cas­trol Toy­ota Hilux). It’s also still pos­si­ble for Tay­lor’s Cas­trol team-mates Leeroy Poul­ter and Rob Howie to tie for Class T hon­ours but it would take an un­likely non-fin­ish by Tay­lor and a win by Poul­ter for this to hap­pen.

The in­au­gu­ral Class G, or Side by Side cham­pi­onship, is also set for a tense fin­ish with two driv­ers and two co-driv­ers in line for ti­tle hon­ours. Pi­eter­mar­itzburg young­ster Lance Wool­ridge (Po­laris) leads the driver stand­ings by 18 points from Brian Cap­per in the Re­gent Rac­ing Po­laris.

Son and fa­ther com­bi­na­tion of Quintin and Kal­lie Sull­wald (El­e­gant Fuel BAT Venom) have al­ready wrapped up the over­all and Class A Spe­cial Ve­hi­cle cham­pi­onships, but there is a del­i­cately poised three-way bat­tle for who fin­ishes where in the mi­nor plac­ings. Be­hind the Sull­walds only six points sep­a­rate the next three crews in both the over­all and Class A cham­pi­onships. Ger­hard and Har­dus du Plessis (Jimco) lead Evan Hutchi­son and Danie Stassen by one point with Lau­rence du Plessis and Gielie le Roux (Zarco) a fur­ther five points in ar­rears.

The At­las Copco 450 prom­ises to be a spec­ta­tor-friendly event with the race based at the Kloof Coun­try Club in Glen­harvie. En­try to race head­quar­ters, the start/fin­ish and the des­ig­nated ser­vice park is free to the pub­lic. Qual­i­fy­ing starts at 11.30am on Fri­day, and the main race at 8.30am the fol­low­ing day.

Jo­han and Werner Horn (Malalane Toy­ota Hilux) could take the 2014 sea­son.

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