The Atlas Copco / Chicago Pneumatic Jeep Off Road Team will make its swansong appearance on the Carnival City Casino 400, the final round of the SA Off Road Car Racing Championship?presented by Absa, on November 14 and 15.
Following Scott Abraham?s appointment at the New Dimension X-Raid BMW Team in Germany management has decided to put the popular ?red monster? up for sale after the season finale.
?The Jeep was always intended for Scott to prepare and drive and with him now based in Germany there is no one to prepare the vehicle in his absence,? said a team spokesperson. ?The Jeep has served us well over the years and with its proven reliability over the past two seasons it will provide the new owner with many years of fun.?
?Apart from a torque converter oil seal that failed on the recent Toyota Dealer 400 and forced Stratford Voogt and Richard Carolin into retirement there have been no major mechanical problems this season and the Jeep has been extremely economical to run,? the spokesperson added.
Scott Abraham will return home from Germany especially to drive the Jeep and will have two co-drivers in the form of Richard Carolin and Carnival City Casino general manager, Rod Walker, sharing the drive with him.
?The plan is for Carolin and Walker, who was the prime mover behind the Venda Sun 500 and a special vehicle competitor in the 1980?s, to complete the Prologue and the first of the three laps of the main event,? said a team spokesperson. ?Abraham will then take over the wheel of the Jeep and have Carolin alongside him for the two remaining laps of the Carnival City Casino 400.?
?I?m looking forward to the opportunity but have to admit to being a little nervous because I have never had to navigate in a rally or an off road race before,? said Walker. ?Richard Carolin was faced with a similar situation at the start of the season but soon got into the swing of navigating so I don?t think I?ll have a problem adapting.?
Abraham and Carolin have been second in the Class T drivers and co-drivers championship for much of the season and along with Duncan Vos and Mike Griffith (Nissan), Neil Woolridge and Ken Skjoldhammer (Ford) and Apie Reyneke and Robin Houghton (Toyota) are in line to pick up the runner-up spot in what is a manufacturer dominated class.
?I?m delighted to have been flown home by my father to drive in the last race of the championship and Richard and I will be going all out to preserve our runner-up spot,? said Abraham. ?We both realise it is not going to be an easy task to finish ahead of so many factory entries so our strategy will be to set a consistent pace, have a puncture-free run and get the Atlas Copco / Chicago Pneumatic Jeep to the finish.?
?With so much at stake for the three factory teams, two of whom have not won a race in 15 or more outings, we feel they will have difficulty adhering to our strategy and will be going all out to win overall and run the risk of picking up punctures and breaking down, which could play nicely into our hands,? added Abraham.
The Carnival City Casino 400 gets underway with a Prologue comprising one lap of the 6km short course track at the casino location on Friday, November 14 at 12:00. The main event comprises three laps of a 138km loop at starts at 08:00 on Saturday, November 15.