The winds of change have been blowing through the championship winning Sullwald racing camp in preparation for the RFS Magalies 400, first round of the Absa Off Road Championship, at Tarlton International Raceway on March 9 and 10.
Reigning Special Vehicle champions Hermann and Wichard Sullwald have joined former champions Kallie and Quintin Sullwald in the Elegant Fuel team for the 2012 season. Last year the Phalaborwa-based champions raced under the Sullwald Racing banner and clinched the Special Vehicle championship in the final event of the season.
This season both the Sullwald teams will race under the Elegant Fuel banner with Hermann and Wichard out in the Porter in which they won the 2011 championship. Kallie and Quintin Sullwald will again campaign a BAT, but there has been a slight change in duties in the car.
After co-driving for his father on the way to a brace of South African championships Quintin will this season take over behind the steering wheel. For father Kallie it will be a return to the co-driving duties which saw him and brother Hermann win the South African championship more than a decade ago.
“A change is as good as a holiday,” said Kallie Sullwald, “and both teams are looking forward to the new season. It makes sense for both cars to be running under the Elegant Fuel banner and to again keep the championship in the family is the major objective.”
Apart from changes in the Sullwald camp there are one or two other interesting developments in the Special Vehicle category. Among those affected are Motorite team-mates Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen and Nick and Ryan Harper as well as Class P stars Marius and Jolinda Fourie.
The Fouries have taken over the BAT campaigned last year by the Harpers and will join the Class A fray this season. After a successful graduation from the Northern Region championship ranks, the Fourie husband and wife team last season joined the small band of Class P runners to have won an Absa national event overall.
Hutchison and Stassen will this season campaign a new BAT Spec 5 with the Harpers taking over the 4×4 Motorite Revo previously campaigned by Hutchison and Stassen. The Harpers will run the Motorite Revo until their new BAT Spec 5 is ready for action later in the season.
Returning to action after lengthy lay-offs are John Weir-Smith and brothers Laurence and Gerhard du Plessis. Weir-Smith will be joined by Richard Foyn in a Porter, with the du Plessis pair out in a Zarco Magnum.
There are also changes in two championship winning Class B crews. Brothers Keith and Andrew Makenete (Zarco) and the father and daughter team of Coetzee and Sandra Labuscagne (Raysonics Zarco) will be moving to Class P this season. Keith Makenete last season won the Class B drivers championship while Sandra Labuscagne took the Class B co-driver championship.
Also on the move will be Regent Racing pair Archie Rutherford and Mike Lawrenson who last season won the Class P championship. They will this year campaign the ex Terence Marsh/George Smalberger Nissan Navara in the premier SP Class in the Production Vehicle category.
Marsh and Smalberger will, however, continue to run the Nissan Navara until Regent Racing take delivery of two new Nissan SP Class challengers. The second new Regent Racing Navara is earmarked for Mike Whitehouse and Mathew Carlson.
The RFS Magalies 400, voted the best event of the Absa championship last season, will again be based at the Tarlton International Raceway near Krugersdorp. The Donaldson Prologue to determine grid positions for the race will be run on March 9 with the race the following day.
Race headquarters and the designated service park will both be located at Tarlton International Raceway. Public access to these areas and to spectator points along the route will be free of charge.
The Donaldson Prologue is scheduled to start at 12:30 on Friday, March 9 and the race at 08:30 on Saturday, March 10.
Photographs Danie van Jaarsveld Copyright