Cracker of a season finale set for the Wild West Rand
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.