KZN crew score Sun City maiden
CHAMPIONSHIP LEADERS: Johan van Staden and Mike Lawrenson lead the Special Vehicles category after the weekend's racing.
Round 5 of the Absa Off-Road championship played out at the Sun City 400 this weekend where Lance Trethewey and Carl Wichmann from kwaZulu-Natal scored their first win in the Special Vehicle category.
Trethewey and Wichmann (BAT) were 57 seconds clear of Johan van Staden and Mike Lawrenson (BAT) in a race run in hot and dusty conditions in the Pilanesberg, just north of Johannesburg.
Tretheway said: “We had a few problems but managed to see out the distance. With a win on the recent Nangkang Drak 250 in the KZN regional championship and a great result here we have had a good run recently.”
Trethewey and Wichmann finished the first of the two 175km loops that made up the race without brakes and were further delayed by a puncture on lap two. Hanging dust made overtaking risky so Staden and Lawrenson could only close to within a minute of the KZN crew.
It was, however, a good weekend for Staden and Lawrenson as provisional scoring took them into the overall lead in the Special Vehicle championship. Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen (BAT) arrived at Sun City with a four-point championship lead but could only manage fourth behind Mark Corbett and Julien Hardy (CR4), who recorded their best result of the season.
It was a disappointing result for Hutchison and Stassen as the pair had won the Donaldson Prologue on Friday, but got lost not long after the start of the race. After dropping down the field, it took a determined effort to secure fourth.
Bloemfontein-based Pieter Ruthven and Leander Pienaar (BAT) followed up an impressive Toyota Desert Race performance with a solid fifth, edging out Clint Gibson and Gary Campbell (Porter) by just 32 seconds.
Seventh overall and a win in Class P was a season best for the father/daughter team of Coetzee and Sandra Labuscagne (Zarco), who came in ahead of veteran Ernest Corbett who shared driving duties with Guy Henley, with Juan Mohr (Jimco).
Class P championship leaders Colin Matthews and Alan Smith were among the biggest casualties on the day; they were skittled out by a loose wheel.
The next round of the championship will the 4x4 Mega World 400 at Carnival City over August 31/September 1.