Favourites fail at Tip Top Drak 250 in Underberg
THE Tip Top Drak 250 in Underbeg last weekend lived up to expectation by reducing most entries to spectator status early on.
The 21 km prologue of the KZN Cross-country Championship was won by Reg Sutton, followed by Arthur Barns and Daniel Brooks, all in class A.
Class B for 2.0 litre cars was won by Bryant Meyer and clubmans was won by Graeme Peterson from Underberg.
Casualties in the prologue included Marcus Taylor navigated by race organiser Trace Price Moor, who had front suspension failure almost within sight of the start. Clint Gibson and Mike Wellbeloved also found trouble by burying their car in a swamp.
There was disaster for the front three cars less than 1 km from the start as they all plunged into a huge mud hole in quick succession, possible a result of red mist hanging in the early morning air. Being so close to the start it was unlikely that any other competitor was going to attempt to help them out, effectively ending all of their chances.
Taking the lead early on was Ralph and Andre Voigt, who drove virtually unchallenged to win comfortably ahead of Leon Bothma and Quinton Brand.
Third went to Rob Spencer and Kevin Theron who also won class B.
A number of crews falling by the wayside after running high up included Jack Peckham, who lost nearly an hour changing a flat tyre without a functioning jack, Bryant Meyer with a broken stub axle , Stephan Muraour with broken suspension and Graham Baumann, who drove into the same mud hole on lap 2 that captured the front three cars.
Marcus Taylor and Trace Price Moor had also moved up to 2nd overall midway through the event before the engine timing belt broke ending their race.
John Rowe won the Clubmans class in his own-built JRE, with Dave Gurney second.
Alistair Konigkramer won the quad bike category, followed by Arnie Meiring.
Tip Top milk sponsored the event.
TWO EXTREMES: (left) Ralph and Andre Voigt drove virtually unchallenged in the KZN Cross-country championship in Underberg. (Right) Marcus Taylor and Trace Price Moor muddle through a fearsom mudhole.