There will be no final event nerves for Motorite Racing crew Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen after the pair wrapped up the Special Vehicle and Class A championships at the recent Vryburg Endurance, the penultimate round of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, in North West province.
Second place behind Mark Corbett and Juan Mohr, in the Century Racing CR5, was enough to settle both the overall and Class A title races in favour of Hutchison and Stassen. A non finish for Lance Trethewey and Geoff Minnitt, in the LTE BAT Venom, ended their challenge.
For Trethewey and Minnitt a first non-finish of the season was a costly result. Not only did it end their title hopes, but it dropped them into third place in the overall championship where they now trail Corbett and Mohr by three points, with the gap five points in the Class A title race.
Corbett/Mohr and Trethewey/Minnitt will now go head to head on the final event of the season to see who finishes second to the Motorite crew in both championships. Brett Parker/VZ van Zyl (Sizanani Plastics Jimco), who ended a disappointing run of results with a podium finish in Vryburg, and the ever steady Coetzee/Sandra Labuscagne (ChemSystems Porter) will fight it out for fourth place.
Reliability has not been a strong point for Class A crews this season, and Vryburg non finishes for Jimmy Zahos/Zaheer Bodhanya (Cobalt Racing Stryker) and Sarel van Biljon and Philip Herselman (Atlas Copco BAT) dropped them down the championship pecking order. It was a fourth non finish for Zahos/Bodhanya, with a win on the Nkomazi 450 thrown in for good measure, with van Biljon and Herselman failing to see out the distance for the third time this season.
The Class P championship is still up for grabs, but the odds are heavily stacked in favour of 2013 champions John Thomson and Maurice Zermatten, in the Zarco Magnum. The Vryburg win went to Thomson and Zermatten but a third place for Colin Matthews and Rodney Burke, out in the Century Racing CR-T, kept them in the championship hunt by the skin of their teeth.
They go into the final event of the season trailing Thomson and Zermatten by 27 points, and need something dramatic to happen to sneak in via the back door. Reliability has also not been a strong suit for the Class P brigade, and in this respect Thomson and Zermatten hold a slight edge over Matthews/Burke.
The Atlas Copco Gold 450 on the West Rand on October 30 and 31 will bring down the curtain on this year’s Donaldson series. Race headquarters, the start/finish and the designated service park will once again be located at the Kloof Country Club in Glenharvie.
Images: Snaps Photography