- Family day successes in Kalahari
- Desert Race Specials won by couple…
- …and dad and daughter finish second
JWANENG, Botswana – If you’re going to win anything in motorsport the trick is to make it also a victory that everybody will remember.
That’s exactly what Marius and Jolinda Fourie did when they topped the Special Vehicle overall leader board of the 2017 Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race on Sunday (June 25), round three of the South African Cross Country Series (SACCS), here today.
The Desert Race is the only marathon event on the SACCS calendar and competitors will tell you it’s the most coveted race win. For the husband-and-wife team this their first National championship success made the trip to the top step of the podium even more memorable.
It was the third podium finish of the 2017 season for the Fourie couple.
They came home 15 minutes ahead of a father/daughter combination – Coetzee and Sandra Labuscagne – in a 4×4 Mega World Porter.
After a sluggish start to the season the Labuscagnes were also on the podium for the second time in a row, the Desert Race ideal for a crew which relies on consistency rather than speed.
After a ropy start to the weekend with a disappointing Friday qualifying session multiple former Class P champions John Thomson/Maurice Zermatten (Zarco Magnum) finally worked their way into third in this their second outing in the premier Class A.
GOSLAR/MASSEY DRIVE A HIGHLIGHT
The Swaziland-based driver and Zermatten were, however, under late pressure from Class P winners Nic Goslar and Andrew Massey in another Zarco Magnum.
Apart from the Fourie triumph, the Goslar/Massey performance was perhaps the highlight of the Special Vehicle category weekend. Despite having to complete the last leg without driver/co-driver comms they gave Thomson/Zermatten a run for their money and were only 40 seconds behind the Class A car in the final classification.
The top five was completed by Lesotho-based driver Stefan van Pletzen/Jaco Pieterse (Live Lesotho Chenowth) who staged something of a comeback on the final day to maintain a challenge at the top of the overall and Class A championship leader boards.
They were followed home by Werner Kennedy/Thinus Venter (Live Lesotho Aceco) and Shaun van Rooyen/Gene Rogers (VCR Racing Century CRT) who were second and third in Class P in the overall classification.
The Desert Race offered teams an attractive package with 60 points on offer. As it was South African champions Evan Hutchison/Danie Stassen (King Price Extreme BAT Viper), who led the overall and Class A championships going into the race, failed to take full advantage of the situation through multiple misfortunes on Days 1 and 2 – which put paid to their hope for a profitable weekend.
John Telford/Victor Ntsekhe (Calcamite Hellcat) led Class P going to Botswana and were in the same situation and saw valuable points go down the drain. There was also disappointment for rookie driver Schalk Burger and South African Rally champion Elvéne Coetzee (King Price Extreme Porter) who ended up pointless in a race which Coetzee’s father won twice in a row.
The race ended for the pair and another family team – Kobus and Miranda Fourie (BAT) – when the two cars collided in a racing incident. Burger/Coetzee rolled out of contention, the Fouries also had a premature end to the race..
Spare a thought also Botswanan crew Keith du Toit/Robbie Coetzee (Scania/White Star Racing BAT) who had high hopes of providing passionate local enthusiasts with something to cheer about.
As it was the pair had to endure a weekend in which nothing went right.
- The next event on the calendar will be the Eeram Farmers 400 near Harrismith in the Free State. The race is new event.