SA champs light up Licht­en­burg

SA cham­pi­ons Poul­ter, Howie pre­serve their un­beaten record

The Witness - Wheels - - RACING - CHAR­MAINE FOR­TUNE

SOUTH African cham­pi­ons Leeroy Poul­ter and Rob Howie pre­served their un­beaten record this sea­son when they can­tered to vic­tory on the Licht­en­burg 450, round four of the Don­ald­son Cross Coun­try Mo­tor Rac­ing Cham­pi­onship, over the week­end.

The Toy­ota Ga­zoo Rac­ing SA pair had plenty to spare over team-mates An­thony Tay­lor and Den­nis Mur­phy, with both fac­tory cars run­ning in the FIA Class.

The re­sults, how­ever, are pro­vi­sional with sev­eral com­peti­tors — in­clud­ing Poul­ter and Howie — com­pet­ing un­der ap­peal af­ter a num­ber of crews were pe­nalised for road cross­ing in­dis­cre­tions on the 84-kilo­me­tre qual­i­fy­ing race to de­ter­mine grid po­si­tions.

The two Ga­zoo Rac­ing SA cars were again in a class of their own and the ma­jor story of the race saw Jason Venter and Vince van Alle­mann (4x4 Mega World Toy­ota Hilux) take over the Class T lead­er­ship from Neil Wool­ridge Motorsport/Ford Per­for­mance Ranger pair Chris Visser and Ward Huxtable.

The Ford crew led Venter/Van Alle­mann by a sin­gle point go­ing into the race, but third place saw the North West crew put some day­light be­tween them and Visser/Huxtable, who were fifth in class in a bor­rowed ve­hi­cle af­ter a fire at the NWM work­shop 10 days ago de­stroyed the Ford Rangers raced by Visser/ Huxtable and Gareth Wool­ridge/Boyd Dreyer. Kobus van Ton­der and the Uni Freight team came to the res­cue and loaned out their NWM-built Ranger to al­low Visser/Huxtable to com­pete for the rest of the sea­son, but it was not up to pace.

Visser and Huxtable also had a prob­lem­atic wheel change af­ter a punc­ture on the first of the two loops and were left to try to make up po­si­tions in dry and dusty con­di­tions.

There was some con­so­la­tion for the Visser fam­ily when for­mer na­tional cham­pion Jan­nie Visser and son Chris ju­nior won Class S for cars un­der four litres with solid axle rear sus­pen­sion. Visser farms just up the road from Licht­en­burg with the Toy­ota Hilux pair rev­el­ling in the con­di­tions.

The Vis­sers came in ahead of Otto Graven/Bobby Brewis and Ron­ald Graven/Lo­han Faber in a pair of Graven Motorsport Toy­ota Hilux mod­els. Visser and the Gravens made up ground on cham­pi­onship leader Heine Strumpher and Henri Hugo (4x4 Mega World To- yota Hilux) who failed to see out the full race dis­tance.

Venter and Van Alle­mann pro­duced an­other work­man­like drive to fin­ish on the podium with the pair com­fort­ably ahead of Gary Bertholdt and Ge­off Min­nitt — stand­ing in for reg­u­lar co-driver Pierre Ar­ries — who were fourth in the At­las Copco VW Amarok.

Bertholdt and Min­nitt lead Class T, for ve­hi­cles above four litres and with solid axle rear sus­pen­sion, af­ter the qual­i­fy­ing race with the Amarok show­ing plenty of po­ten­tial.

There were also steady drives from Luke Botha/An­dre Ver­meulen (RedLined Nis­san Navara) and Hen­nie de Klerk/Adriaan Roets (Trea­sury One BMW X3) who were fifth and sixth over­all, and third and fourth in Class T.

Ter­ence Marsh and celebrity co-driver Kurt Dar­ren, in the Red-Lined Nis­san Navara, were sev­enth over­all and third in the FIA Class, with the pair fol­lowed across the line by Visser and Huxtable. • The next event on the Don­ald­son cal­en­dar is the Nko­mazi 450 in Malalane, a gate­way to the Kruger Na­tional Park, on Au­gust 26 and 27. The event will feature a route much changed from pre­vi­ous years, and will be run in con­junc­tion with the sixth round of the North­ern Re­gions Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onship.

“The re­sults, how­ever, are pro­vi­sional with sev­eral com­peti­tors — in­clud­ing Poul­ter and Howie — com­pet­ing un­der ap­peal af­ter a num­ber of crews were pe­nalised for road cross­ing in­dis­cre­tions on the 84-kilo­me­tre qual­i­fy­ing race to de­ter­mine grid po­si­tions.”

PHOTO: WALDO VAN DER WAAL

Jason Venter and Vince van Alle­mann com­pete in the Licht­en­burg 450, round four of the Don­ald­son Cross Coun­try Mo­tor Rac­ing Cham­pi­onship.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.