Visser and Badenhorst clinch production vehicle championship
Victory on the inaugural Human Auto 400 in the Free State, the penultimate round of the championship, was enough to put the RFS Toyota Hilux pair beyond the reach of Hannes Grobler and Hennie ter Stege, in the RFS BMW. Grobler and ter Stege can still finish level on points with Visser and Badenhorst if they win the RFS Magalies 400 in November, but will then be knocked out of contention on a count out.
If Visser and Badenhorst fail to score and Grobler/ter Stege win the Magalies event, the two crews will finish level on points. The title would then go to Visser and Badenhorst who will have scored three wins as against two for Grobler and ter Stege.
A non finish in the Free State blew outgoing drivers champion Duncan Vos and Rob Howie, in the Team Castrol Toyota Hilux, out of the championship reckoning. They are still a solid third in the championship with a terrific scrap behind them for the minor placings in the driver’s championship.
Here only six points separate Terence Marsh (Regent Racing Nissan Navara), former champion Neil Woolridge and Gary Bertholdt. Marsh has 69 points with Woolridge and Bertholdt on 65 and 63 respectively.
Behind the first three the situation among the co-drivers is also fluid. Here seven points separate Kenny Skjoldhammer (65), Andre Vermeulen (63) and Buks Carolin on 58 points.
Skjoldhammer partners Woolridge, Vermeulen sits alongside Bertholdt and Carolin partners Marsh. Business commitments are, however, likely to see Carolin, who missed the Free State race, also sit out the final event.
As matters stand Visser/Badenhorst lead Grobler/Ter Stege by 16 points with Vos and Howie a further nine points in arrears. Eleventh place on the RFS Magalies 400 will be enough to give the title to Visser and Badenhorst.
Two wins in a row have taken Deon Venter and Ian Palmer (4x4 Mega World Toyota Hilux) to the top of the Class D championship. They are now nine points clear of early season pacesetters Dewald van Breda and Johann du Toit, with the Northam Toyota Hilux reclassified as an SP Class vehicle at the Human Auto 400.
The accident that put teenager Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable (Team Ford Ranger) out of action in the Free State has also thrown the Class E championship wide open. A come from behind win for Pikkie Labuschagne and Rickus Erasmus, in the 4x4 Mega World Toyota Hilux, brought the Wolmarranstad crew to within nine points of Woolridge and Huxtable.
Woolridge suffered a back injury when the Team Ford Ranger hit a ditch at speed, and is a doubtful starter for the RFS Magalies 400. In a close finish to last year’s championship Labuschagne and Erasmus lost out by one point to Jannie Visser and Joks le Roux.
The RFS Magalies 400 will be held on November 19 and 20. Race headquarters, the start/finish and the designated service point will again be at the Tarlton International Raceway complex near Krugersdorp.