Jimmy Zahos and Zaheer Bodhanya followed a maiden victory last time out with a win today in the qualifying race for tomorrow’s Vryburg Endurance, round five of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, in North West Province.
Zahos and Bodhanya, in the Cobalt Racing Stryker, won the recent Nkomazi 450 in Mpumalanga, and followed that up with a convincing first qualifying event victory here. The pair led home championship contenders Lance Trethewey and Geoff Minnitt (LTE BAT Venom), with just over a minute separating the two crews, and Mark Corbett/Juan Mohr in the Century Racing CR5.
Fourth and fifth were Brett Parker/VZ van Zyl (Sizanani Plastics Jimco) and former champions and current championship leaders Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen in the Motorite BAT Viper. There are 60 points available over the final two events of the season, and going into tomorrow’s race Hutchison and Stassen lead Trethewey and Minnitt by 17 points and have a 44 point advantage over Corbett and Mohr.
Of the top five only Parker and the veteran van Zyl reported a clean run on what, as expected, turned out to be a fast and open route. Zahos and Bodhanya were battling with a suspension set-up, Trethewey/Minnitt relied on hand signals after losing intercom communication, Corbett/Mohr picked up an early puncture and a puncture and no GPS signal hampered Hutchison and Stassen.
Lourens and Carien Booysen (BAT) were a steady sixth with championship leaders John Thomson and Maurice Zermatten the first of the Class P contingent in seventh place overall. Thomson and Zermatten, the 2013 Class P champions, came in ahead of the ever steady Coetzee Labuscagne and daughter Sandra in the ChemSystems Porter, who completed the top eight.
Thomson and Zermatten, however, struggled with clutch and alternator problems and are doubtful starters for tomorrow’s race. In the Class P title race the pair are currently 15 points clear of Colin Matthews and Rodney Burke who were forced to switch cars to new Century CR-T after damaging the gearbox in a pre race test session in the Century Racing CR3.
Matthews/Burke were second in Class P today but were more than 11 minutes behind Thomson/Zermatten, with Andrew Makenete/Ntaote Bereng (Zarco Magnum) a further four minutes adrift. However, a non start tomorrow for Thomson and Zermatten could open the championship door for Matthews and Burke.
Race headquarters are located at the Vryburg Motor Club on the outskirts of the town. There is free public entry into race headquarters and the numerous spectator viewing points along the route. The race will start at 07:30am.