SECOND WIN OF SEASON: Dylan Venter and Vincent van Allemann (Toyota Hilux) won the 2015 Barberspan Production Vehicle category. Image: Supplied
DELAREYVILLE, NorthWest Province - A stunning comeback took Andrew and Zelma Beer, in a BAT, to overall victory in the 2015 Barberspan 500, Round 2 of the Northern Regions Cross-Country championship.
The Beers started 16th overall and ninth in the Special Vehicle category but scythed their way through the field to finish 1min24 ahead of Dylan Venter and Vincent van Allemann (Toyota Hilux) who won the Production category.
It was a maiden Northern Regions win for the Beers, who also took the Class P honours.
DAY BELONGED TO BEERS
For young Venter, in his second season of Regional racing, and Van Allemann it was their second Production Vehicle and Class D triumph of the season. They were in a class of their own and finished more than 20 minutes clear of Class E winners Bertus Kriel and Anton Muller (Ford Ranger).
The day, however, belonged to the Beers. At the end of the first of two 200km loops that made up the race they had moved up to seventh overall and sixth in the Special Vehicle category.
A dramatic second loop saw Tony and Michael Gouveia (BAT), who looked in complete charge at the halfway stage, drop out 40km from the finish when they hit a tree stump. A late surge then took the Beers ahead of veteran Giel Nel and Ferdie Pieterse (Zarco Truggy) and Kobus Fourie and Sidriaan de Villiers (BAT).
They were followed home by Werner Kennedy and Thinus Venter (Aceco), who won the opening round of the season, who were fourth in the Special Vehicle category and in Class P. The top five were completed by Marthinus and Tiaan le Roux (Sandmaster) who took their second Class B victory of the season.
FORD RANGER BENEFIT
Second in Class B was John Boxhoorn (WPP) with Chris Hooman (Sandmaster Magnum) and lady driver Suma Smit (Sandmaster) third and fourth. Among the non-finishers was veteran Wolf-Peter Pfumfei (Sandmaster).
In the Class D battle it was no contest with Venter and Van Allemann coming home with more than an hour to spare over Andre Venter and Victor Fincham (Isuzu KB). Third and the only other Class D finishers were brothers Sarel and Jaco Oosthuizen (Land Rover Defender).
Class E was a Ford Ranger benefit with Bertus Kriel/Anton Muller leading home Andries Mynhardt/Hein Kruger and reigning champions Dirk Putter and Kobus Claasens who dropped back after leading at halfway.
There was also a fight back from Round 1 winners Henri Zermatten and John Gerber (Ford Ranger) who finished fourth – just ahead of the Mitsubishi Pajero of Rob Reid and Bodo Schwegler – after starting from the back of the field.
The next 2015 round of the Northern Regions series will be the Lichtenburg 250 on May 23.
FUTURE STARS BREWING? Andrew and Zelma Beer, in their winning BAT. They made a stunning comeback to take the overall win in the 2015 Barberspan 500. Image: Supplied