Results of the Donaldson Prologues – Toyota Dealer 400
Lydenburg, Friday 13th 2012
SP Class – the big boys: A tight lead
It was a tight and exciting race at the Prologues yesterday, with the top five spots especially being hotly contested. Drivers who had done badly in the opening round of the ABSA Off Road Championship were out to redeem themselves, and a few new teams joined the pack with lots to prove. If you need to catch up on the Magalies 400 opening round’s results, click here for a recap and preview of today’s race.
1st (00:48:37) & 2nd (00:49:01)
Following a dismal showing at the opening round, Team Castrol Toyota’s Duncan Vos and Rob Howie placed a redemptive first at Friday’s prologues. They can’t take their starting position for granted, however, as Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst, who won the Magalies 400, were only 24 SECONDS behind!
In third place, also redeeming their team’s name, was another Toyota. Piloted by Anthony Taylor with Chris Birkin in the navigator seat, the two came in a narrow 19 SECONDS behind Visser’s Ford Ranger – only 43 seconds behind team mates Vos and Howie.
Placing another Toyota in the top five, Pikkie Labuschagne and Rick Erasmus weren’t far behind in their Ruwacon Racing Hilux – they came in only A MINUTE AND 5 SECONDS behind Taylor and Birkin.
Hannes Grobler and Hennie Ter Stege, piloting the bright orange BMW X3, placed 5th. They came in ONLY FOUR SECONDS behind the Ruwacon Hilux!
6TH: SP10 Hugo de Bruyn and Henri Hugo – Toyota Hilux (00:53:38)
7TH: SP12 Kobus van Tonder and Freddie Kriel – Ford Ranger (00:54:14)
8TH: SP16 Deon Venter and Iam Palmer – Toyota Hilux (00:55:51)
9TH: SP02 Terence Marsh and George Smalberger – Nissan Navara (00:56:54) – PLACED 3RD AT MAGALIES 400
10TH: SP21 Willem Vos and Dana Vos – BMW (00:59:15) – NEW ENTRY
11TH: SP11 Gary Bertholdt and Ralph Pitchford – Toyota Hilux (01:00:06)
12TH: SP46 Graham Leith and Trevor Leith – Ford Ranger (01:03:00)
13TH: SP01 Jannie Visser and Joks Le Roux – Toyota Hilux (01:15:38)
DID NOT FINISH
(these drivers failed to qualify, they’ll start with the masses from 9:15AM onwards)
SP08 – Malcolm Kock and Johan Burger – Toyota Hilux
SP34 – Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable – Ford Ranger – PLACED AN IMPRESSIVE 2ND AT MAGALIES 400
SP15 Christiaan du Plooy and Henk Janse van Vuuren – BMW X3 – PLACED 4TH AT MAGALIES 400
SP23 Louw de Bruin and Riaan Greyling – Ford Ranger
SP18 Hennie de Klerk and Keith Solomon – Toyota Hilux
SP24 Archie Rutherford and Mathew Carlson – Nissan Navara
Other Classes: The Sullwald family surprises in the Specials
(the following is a press release, courtesy of the SA National Off Road Car Racing Association)
Former South African champions Quintin and Kallie Sullwald sprang a surprise today when they won the Donaldson Prologue to take pole position in the Special Vehicle category on the Toyota Dealer 400, round two of the Absa Off Road Championship, today.
It may sound a little strange for two-time SA champions to spring a surprise. But after winning two championships sitting alongside father Kallie, it is Quintin who has taken over driving duties in the Elegant Fuel BAT this season. The younger Sullwald was having only his second outing as a driver but showed he is a chip off the old block. The pair finished a comfortable 95 seconds ahead of former champion Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen in the new Motorite BAT Venom.
“It was a very difficult prologue in terms of navigation and the race is going to be challenging,” said Hutchison. “The secret is going to be to stay on the route and drive smoothly.”
In a tight finish Hutchison and Stassen were just five seconds ahead of Johan van Staden and Mike Lawrenson, winners of the opening race of the year, in the Atlas Copco BAT. Van Staden will be aiming to make history by becoming the first driver to win this event in both a Class A and Class P car.
“That would be an awesome achievement,” said van Staden, “but there is plenty of tough opposition in the field. Winning first time out this season was a boost, but Mike and I will just concentrate on putting together a solid race.”
It was a good day for the Sullwald family with reigning South African champions Hermann and Wichard Sullwald taking fourth place in the Elegant Fuel BAT. They came in ahead of Colin Matthews and Alan Smith, in the Century Racing CR3, who again dominated Class P.
Behind them there were solid performances from KwaZulu-Natal crew Clint Gibson and Gary Campbell (Gibson Racing Porter), the father and son pair of Nardus and Louis Alberts (Wrapsa BAT) and Steve Parker and VZ van Zyl in the Sizanani Jimco. There is only around two minutes separating Hutchison/Stassen in second place and Parker/van Zyl in eighth and that sets the stage for some hectic racing.
Matthews and Smith again dominated Class P. They finished on the podium at the first event of the year and had around six minutes in hand over John Telford and Jaco Swart in the Calcamite BAT. Third place went to veteran former Toyota Desert Race winner Rob Wark, who brushed away the cobwebs after a four year lay-off, and Chris Davies in the Superpave Aceco.
“I was a bit ring rusty over the first 15 kilometres but after that settled into a bit of a rhythm,” said Wark. “We also had a bit of a brake problem but I enjoyed myself and am looking forward to the race.”