Wide-open Spe­cials

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

CREWS com­pet­ing in the Spe­cial Ve­hi­cle cat­e­gory in the Don­ald­son Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onship face a tac­ti­cal race. A 196-kilo­me­tre qual­i­fy­ing race to de­ter­mine grid po­si­tions, fol­lowed by two 251kilo­me­tre loops with a com­pul­sory 20-minute halt af­ter the first lap cre­ate new tac­ti­cal op­tions and crews will have to be able to adapt their game plans.

The pre­mier Class A and Class P fields look to be more open than in pre­vi­ous sea­sons, and that sets up an in­ter­est­ing sce­nario for the rest of the se­ries. It also high­lights the need for a fast start to a sea­son where the con­stant change of race for­mat is go­ing to pro­vide teams with an ad­di­tional chal­lenge. There is very lit­tle to choose be­tween the Class P cham­pi­onship con­tenders. Kwa-Zulu-Natal pair James Wat­son and John Thomp­son (BAT) will re­sume a ri­valry with the (Zarco Mag­num team of John Thom­son and Mau­rice Zer­mat­ten.

An­other KZN crew in Leon Bothma and Quin­ton Brand will be rac­ing their BAT against An­drew Mak­enete/Ntoate Bereng Nic Goslar/An­drew Massey and Grant Watkins/Mark Irvine will be out in a trio of Zarco mod­els.

The BAT chal­lenge is bol­stered by John Telford/Vic­tor Nt­sekhe in the Cal­camite en­try, and vet­eran Ernest Cor­bett and Martin Her­mida will also make a rare ap­pear­ance in the Cen­tury Rac­ing CR2.

But in Class P the odd are all in favour of Matthews/Burke. When this rac­ing pair man­age to put to­gether a trou­ble free run, none of the other Class P driv­ers get close and the Cen­tury Rac­ing pair even pose a ma­jor threat to the Class A brigade.

Class A is led by for­mer cham­pi­ons Evan Hutchi­son and Danie Stassen in the Mo­torite BAT Viper. New­com­ers Lourens and Carien Booy­sen (BAT) are an un­known quan­tity, while the fa­ther/daugh­ter com­bi­na­tion of Coet­zee and San­dra Labuschagne move up a notch af­ter a gain­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in Class P. — Wheels Re­porter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.