Maiden Special Vehicle victory for Gibson and Campbell
Tarlton, Saturday – After a couple of years of knocking on the door KwaZulu-Natal pair Clint Gibson and Gary Campbell in the Dirt Sport Components Porter finally cracked a national championship win when they romped home on the RFS 400, round one of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, which ended here today.
Gibson already has a national win to his name but this was the pair’s first triumph together. And after winning the Friday prologue to determine grid positions and a comfortable win in the race it was a more than satisfactory weekend for the pair.
After starting from pole position Gibson and Campbell were never under any real pressure. They reported a trouble free run and in the end were comfortably clear of reigning champions Evan Hutchison, who was born in KwaZulu-Natal, and Danie Stassen in the Motorite BAT Venom.
Without taking anything away from Gibson and Campbell the performance by Hutchison and Stassen was one of the drives of the day. After an unhappy prologue the started 16th among the Special Vehicles and simply scythed their way through the field.
Two other KZN crews filled the next two positions with Lance Trethewey and Carl Wichmann (LT BAT) taking the final podium position ahead of Daniel Brookes and Gavan Gray in the Ducatus Property BAT. It was a close run affair with Trethewey/Wichmann, who suffered from clutch problems, finishing just 16 seconds ahead of their fellow KwaZulu-Natalians.
The father and son pair of Nick and Ryan Harper completed the top five in the second Motorite BAT Venom. A puncture and a persistent misfire spoiled their day but they were around a minute clear of newcomers Philip de Vries and Johan Viljoen who were delighted with a performance that saw them finish well clear of Pieter Ruthven/Leander Pienaar in the Ruwacon BAT.
It was a good day for the Gibson’s with Clint’s brother Glenn and Clint Brook finishing eighth in a BAT. Behind them former SA champions Quintin and Kallie Sullwald (Elegant Fuel BAT Venom) recovered from a prologue disaster to finish ninth with Marius and Jolinda Fourie completing the top 10 in the PHB BAT.
There was a surprise in Class P where Swaziland driver John Thomson and Maurice Zermatten, in a Zarco Magnum, outran SA champion Colin Matthews and Alan Smith in the Century CR3. Matthews and Smith were around 10 minutes adrift of Thomson/Zermatten, and were also under a little pressure late in the race from brothers-in-law Jeremy Woods and Chris Davies in the K9 Racing Aceco.