FIGHTING FOR POINTS: Quintin and Kallie Sullwald continue to fight for points. Image: SA Cross-Country
JOHANNESBURG - Former South African champions Quintin/Kallie Sullwald, Second place tightened their hold on the Special Vehicle category title race after five rounds of the Donaldson Cross-Country Championship, at the Force Fuel 450 in Sun City.
The Sullwalds (driving a Venom), headed into the Sun City weekend with a 10-point advantage over Gerhard du Plessis and his teenage son, Hardus, in a Jimco, who did not score a point at the event. They dropped from second to third in the overall standings when du Plessis’s brother, Lawrence, and Gielie le Roux, in a Zarco, scored a comfortable victory.
The reward for the Sullwalds after an adventurous race – a coming together with Production Vehicle crew Anthony Taylor/Dennis Murphy, no third gear for most of the day and alternator problems - is a 26 point cushion over Lawrence du Plessis and le Roux, who lead Gerhard and Hardus du Plessis by three points.
For the le Roux family the Force Fuel 450 was a watershed weekend with Gielie scoring a maiden win – in only his third event – with father Joks, a former SA champion, winning Class S in the Production Vehicle category.
Le Roux senior said afterwards: “I am very proud of him. He never raced in the regional championship, and to score a win in his third race is a great achievement.”
KwaZulu-Natal crew Arthur Barnes/Anthony Usher (BAT) also missed the Force Fuel 450, but with driver/co-driver comings and goings Barnes stays fourth among the drivers, with Usher third in the co-driver stakes behind Sullwald senior/Hardus du Plessis. Le Roux jumps to fourth ahead of fifth placed reigning champion Danie Stassen, who sits alongside Evan Hutchison.
Fifth place overall among the drivers is now shared by Wichard Sullwald and reigning champion Hutchison. The top five remain the same in both the overall and Class A standings.
The Class A brigade are followed in the overall standings by reigning champions John Thomson/Maurice Zermatten (Zarco), who are the first of the Class P contingent. Swaziland based Thomson and Zermatten trail Wichard Sullwald/Hutchison by only three points.
The Thomson/Zermatten combination went to the Force Fuel 450 level pegging in the Class P championship with KZN pair James Watson/John Thompson. A solid second for Thomson/Zermatten, and a disappointing run for Watson/Thompson saw the champions eke out a nine point advantage.
A class win for Colin Matthews/Rodney Burke (CR3), who won overall in 2013, lifted them into third place in the standings. Matthews/Burke romped to victory in the qualifying event at the Force Fuel 450, but a puncture during the first of the two laps that made up the race, set them back on their heels.
The next race on the Donaldson series calendar is the Vryburg 450 in North West Province.