Family win in Botswana Specials

2013-06-24 10:36

GABORONE, Botswana - Father-and-son pair of Herman and Wichard (crt) Sullwald won a race of attrition to take Special Vehicle honours from the Botswana 1000 Desert Race in the Kalahari, Round 4 of the South African Cross-Country championship.

The races ended at Kumakwane on Sunday with only five classified finishers.

The Sullwalds scored their first Desert Race win and zoomed to the top of the Special Vehicle and Class A championships. The win also erased an unpleasant memory of the crew spending a cold and uncomfortable night in the desert a  couple of years ago after a mechanical breakdown.


The huge attrition rate saw less-fancied crews fill out the top five places with local driver Keith du Toit and Keith Solomon (BAT) finishing second. Third were Swaziland driver John Thomson and Maurice Zermatten (Zarco) who also won Class P with both crews scoring their best results yet.

Rounding out the top five were Desert Race debutants Daniel and Louw Zeelie (Porter) and Philip de Vries and Johan Viljoen (Porter). The Sullwalds were a huge 75 minutes ahead of Toit/Solomon who had around five minutes to spare on Thomson/Zermatten.

Six of the seven crews who went into the race ahead of the Sullwalds in the overall championship left Botswana without a point. Only Vries and Viljoen added to their tally and that saw the Sullwalds move into a provisional 2.5-point lead over reigning SA champions Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen whose BAT was first racing section casualty.


With the Desert Race, the only marathon event on the cross-country calendar, worth points and a half the Sullwalds, in one fell swoop, made up a 35-point deficit to Hutchison and Stassen. Vries and Viljoen also moved up a notch or two with four races remaining in 2013.

Nick and Ryan Harper (BAT) and kwaZulu-Natal crew Clint Gibson and Gary Campbell (Porter) were also section one casualties. They were joined on Sunday by overnight leaders Colin Matthews and Alan Smith (CR3) and former SA champions and Desert Race winners Quintin and Kallie Sullwald (BAT) as the race took its toll.

A broken input shaft put paid to an impressive performance by Matthews and Smith; the second Sullwald crew fell by the wayside late in the race.

See what happened in the Production Vehicle category here