KWAZULU-NATAL CREWS DOMINATE SPECIAL VEHICLE STANDINGS
KwaZulu-Natal crews dominate the top Special Vehicle championship positions after the RFS 400, opening round of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, in the Magaliesburg area.
Over the last couple of seasons Clint Gibson and Gary Campbell, in the Dirt Components Porter, have been knocking on the door for a national championship win. They finally cracked it on a weekend that saw the pair dominate both the prologue to determine grid positions, and the race to set the early overall and Class A championship pace.
Gibson has a previous national win to his name, but for Campbell it was his first success at this level. Gibson and Campbell finished comfortably ahead of reigning champions Evan Hutchison, who was born in KZN, and Danie Stassen, in the Motorite BAT Venom, who recovered from a poor prologue to produce one of the drives of the day.
The next two places also went to KwaZulu-Natal crews Lance Trethewey and Carl Wichmann (LT Earthmovers BAT) and Daniel Brookes/Gavan Gray in the Ducatus Property BAT. Trethewey and Wichmann won last year’s Sun City 400, while Brookes and Gray continued a run of form they showed at the end of last season.
There was a solid start to the season for the father and son team of Nick and Ryan Harper in the second of the Motorite BAT Venom entries. Behind the experienced Harper pair there was a dream result for newcomers Philip de Vries and Johan Viljoen in their first outing in a Porter.
The pair came in ahead of Pieter Ruthven and Leander Pienaar in the Ruwacon Racing BAT, and were delighted with a top 10 finish first time out.
There was a turn up for the books in Class P with Swaziland driver John Thomson and experienced Maurice Zermatten outgunning reigning champions Colin Matthews and Alan Smith in the Century Racing CR3. It was Zermatten’s first outing after a couple of season on the sidelines.
Matthews and Smith, who outpaced the rest of the Class P contingent last season, were also under a little late pressure from brothers-in-law Jeremy Wood and Chris Davies in the K9 Aceco, It is likely that over the rest of the season Wood and veteran Rob Wark will share driver and co-driver duties.