Malalane, Saturday – Former South African champions Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst (Ford Racing Ranger) took a firm grip on the Production Vehicle category on the Nkomazi 400, round two of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, which started here today.
At the end of the first of two 160 kilometre loops making up the race, the Ford crew had opened up a gap of two minutes and 22 seconds over the Atlas Copco Toyota Hilux pair of Gary Bertholdt and Siegfried Rousseau. Visser and Badenhorst started the day one minute and 40 seconds behind yesterday’s prologue winners, Christiaan du Plooy and Henk Janse van Vuuren (RFS BMW X3) who rolled out of the event shortly before reaching the designated service point.
Third and fourth were Team Castrol Toyota Hilux crews Duncan Vos/ Rob Howie and Anthony Taylor/Dennis Murphy.
Regent Racing Nissan Navara pair Mike Whitehouse and Mathew Carlson completed the top five.
On the Special Vehicle front RFS 400 winners Clint Gibson and Gary Campbell (DirtSport Components Porter) held a 45 second lead over prologue winners and Class P leaders Colin Matthews/Alan Smith in the Century Racing CR3. Gibson and Campbell started fourth behind Matthews/Smith and SA champions Evan Hutchison/Danie Stassen (Motorite BAT Venom) and Hermann and Wichard Sullwald in the Elegant Fuel BAT.
At the halfway mark the Sullwalds had moved ahead of Hutchison and Stassen to lie third ahead of the Motorite team. The race ends later today at the Riverview Preparatory School on the outskirts of Malalane.