IN THE LEAD: Father and son team Quintin and Kallie Sullwald in their BAT are sitting comfortably in the lead of the Special Vehicles Championship. Image: Keino@snaps
With two events remaining and enjoying a healthy points lead, the son-and-father team of Quintin and Kallie Sullwald are sitting pretty at the top of the Special Vehicle overall standings in the SA National Cross-Country championship.
Second from the recent Vryburg 450 saw the Sullwalds move 36 points clear of their nearest opposition with 50 points to score from the final races. That gives them a huge advantage as the season plays out and sets them up for a landmark achievement.
Each is a South African champion – father Kallie as a driver and son Quintin as his co-driver. Now father and son are set to swop roles in an achievement that takes family participation in cross-country racing to a new level.
TWO RACES TO GO
A couple of non-finishes, however, saw to it that the Sullwalds are not yet out of the woods – and behind them a terrific scrap between three crews will add spice to the final two events of the year. Here only six points separate Gerhard and Hardus du Plessis (Jimco), reigning champions Evan Hutchison/Danie Stassen (BAT) and Laurence du Plessis/Gielie Le Roux (Zarco).
Everyone below fourth-placed Laurence du Plessis/le Roux are out of the championship running and the 36-point advantage they hold means the Sullwalds can race for places rather than wins. The three crews behind them will have to do all the chasing – and that means taking risks.
Hutchison/Stassen gave themselves a championship lifeline by winning the Vryburg 450 but reliability has been a problem for them. Three-times they've failed to see out the distance and the North West win was their first of the season.
There is no change in the Class A top five. The only thing that changes is slight adjustments to the points but there are still six points separating the Du Plessis siblings and Hutchison.
The last four places in the top 10 are filled by two Class P and two Class A crews. John Thomson/ Maurice Zermatten (Zarco) are the first of the Class P runners, followed by kwaZulu-Natal pair Arthur Barnes/Anthony Usher (BAT) who missed the last two events.
Next up are Class P pair James Watson/John Thompson (BAT) and Daniel Brookes/Gavan Gray (BAT). Brookes/Gray have been hard hit by non-finishes although they are in some good company.
Swaziland based Thomson and Zermatten, the reigning champions, have opened up a 15-point lead over Watson and Thompson at the top of the Class P standings. They are the only two crews left in the title chase with Nic Goslar third among the drivers and Rodney Burke third among the co-drivers.
Three good results in a row have lifted Keith Makenete and Moalosi Borotho (Zarco) into fourth place in both the Drivers' and Co-drivers' standings.
Review: Production Vehicles result