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Mega 4x4 race: great for family

2010-09-01 09:14

Hermann Sullwald races at the Mega 4x4

Two Sullwald teams turned the Special Vehicle category on the 4x4 Mega World 400, Round 5 of the SA Off-Road championship, into a family affair.

Herman and Wichard Sullwald, in a Sullwald Racing SVR, crossed the finish line seconds ahead of Kallie and Quintin (BAT) to give the father and son teams a unique double.

Brothers Herman and Kallie won the SA championship racing together in the mid-1990s, Kallie and Quintin won in 2008 and last weekend’s result saw Wichard score his first National victory.

Only 13 seconds separated the two teams at the finish with Herman and Wichard starting fourth in the Special Vehicle category and Kallie and Quintin seventh after the prologue on Friday to determine grid positions. Herman and Wichard lost time on the prologue when they stopped to help championship leaders Shameer Variawa and Siegfried Rousseau who were stuck in a donga in their Porter.

Ironically, Variawa built the SVR being campaigned this season by the Sullwald. A persistent misfire also hampered the winners with an errant plug lead at the root of the problem.

Another good result

“The plug lead came loose just before the end of the first loop, and the misfire reappeared about 70km from the finish,” said Herman. “We thought Kallie and Quintin would catch us but there was a lot of dust out there and we were maintaining a steady pace.”

For Kallie and Quintin it was another good result after their win on the Sun City 400. “A great day for family,”” said Kallie.

A third father-and-son team, Nardus and Louis Alberts, crossed the line third in a BAT with the pair bouncing back after a disastrous Sun City 400 when a drive shaft broke on the start line and the pair covered all of five metres. Then they were penalised 30 minutes for deviating from the route.

This dropped them to 10th overall and seventh in Class A with Jimmy Zahos and Stefan Coetzee (Porter) elevated to third for their first podium finish. Steady drives took Nick Harper/Kevin Hume (BAT) and Brett and Steve Parker (Jimco) into fifth and sixth.

Three Class P crews in Archie Rutherford and Jacque le Roux (Jimco), Johan van Staden/James Rossouw (BAT) and Etienne Lourens and Philip Herselman (BAT) completed the top eight.

The biggest losers on the day were Variawa and Rousseau and prologue winners Colin Matthews and Alan Smith in their first outing in their CR3. A gearbox problem handed Variawa/Rousseau their second DNF of the season, with the reliability bogey again sidelining Matthews and Smith who retired early in the race with fuel pressure problems.

Rutherford and le Roux, making his National debut, won an interesting Class P tussle by 39 seconds from championship leaders Van Staden/Rossouw. It was a great comeback by the pair who started 28th among the Special Vehicles after a disappointing prologue.

There was also an impressive off-road debut by former rally champion Lourens. He was walking around with a huge grin after he and Philip Herselman finished less than two minutes off the pace.

Veteran Bez Bezuidenhout and daughter-in-law Lindie (BAT) scored their second successive win to move into the lead in Class B. The pair finished half an hour ahead of brothers Keith and Andrew Makenete, in a Zarco, and took control when Simon Beckett and Steve Harris (BAT) retired.


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