New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Two in a row for Hutchison/Stassen

2013-11-25 10:10

TOUGH WIN: Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen clinched the Special Vehicle championship title during the Atlas Copco Gold 400 on Saturday, the final round of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship. Image: Quickpic

Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen limped home at the Atlas Copco Gold 400, final round of the Donaldson Cross-Country championship, to clinch back to back Special Vehicle category championships.

Interim scoring saw a first victory for Philip de Vries and Johan Viljoen lift the pair from fifth to second overall and Class A championships. De Vries/Viljoen finished more than six minutes ahead of Quintin Sullwald and debutant Janine Lourens with halfway leaders Marius and Jolinda Fourie completing the podium.


Fourth went to Neil Meyer and Joseph Lewis, with Hutchison/Stassen surviving a string of scares on the second loop of the 170km race. Punctures, alternator problems and a broken fan belt all added to a nervous finish for the crew, who also completed the last three kilometres with a flat tyre.

A relieved Hutchison said after the race:  “What a day. We made winning the championship difficult for ourselves.

“It was a tough season but we hung in there. I have never ever driven with a flat tyre in a race, but with three kilometres to go we decided to bite the bullet.”

De Vries/ Viljoen finished second in the Friday qualifying race and put together a consistent weekend. Their only problem came when Viljoen’s cellphone slipped under the accelerator on the second loop.

Vries said: “The last 10km were a bit of a strain, otherwise we had a good run and the phone must have dropped out of the car because we can’t find it.”


Qualifying race winners Brett Parker and VZ van Zyl gradually dropped down the order as the race progressed to finish ninth. At the halfway stage Vries/Viljoen were  second behind husband and wife team Marius and Jolinda Fourie who ran into Loop 2 woes.

The Fouries finished the last 100km with steering problems and could not hold off Vries/Viljoen and Sullwald/Lourens who ran the last 90km with the car stuck in third gear. Meyer and Lewis lost time stuck in a deep ditch and Hutchison/ Stassen eventually finished just 12sec clear of kwaZulu-Natal crew Clint Gibson and Gary Campbell who started the weekend second in the championship and 12.5 points behind Hutchison/ Stassen.

They were hit by a spate of punctures and after running out of wheels were bailed out by Hermann and Wichard Sullwald who loaned them two spares.

A solid seventh overall clinched the Class P championship for Swaziland-based driver John Thomson and Maurice Zermatten.

Thomson took a tight grip on the Class P drivers' title when closest rival Colin Matthews, partnered by Rodney Burke retired from the qualifying race with a broken sideshaft. Starting from the back of the field effectively ended any hope Matthews had of winning the overall and Class P driver titles.

Thomson/Zermatten were followed home by the Zeelie brothers, Daniel and Louw, who came up with another solid performance while Keith Makenete and Peter Hlutwa completed the top 10 and were second in Class P.

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