With the acquisition of the Audi V8 powered Praesidium Financial Services Bat just prior to the Toyota Dealer 400 at Lydenberg, it was certainly going to be a learning curve for both Clint Gibson and Mike Brown. Fortunately they had the opportunity to run the car at the Stoney Hill Drag-on, which was a KwaZulu Natal Regional Championship race the week before Lydenberg. A move that certainly paid off.
Moving up to play with the big boys in Class A did not intimidate them in the least. They quickly asserted themselves by being the quickest Special Vehicle in the 400-meter sprint in Lydenberg, with a top speed of 139 km/h. The Nissans just managed to squeeze them out by achieving 140 km/h.
Problems for Brandon Harcus and Gary Bertholdt on the first lap of the main race saw Gibson/Brown in a tussle with the BAT of Mark Corbett and Juan Mohr, (also powered by Audi) for the lead in the Special Vehicle category. At the end of the second lap the Praesidium Financial Services BAT was a clear 2 minutes ahead. This lead increased to almost 10 minutes on the third lap and with only 30 km to go, it was all over bar the shouting.
But in Off Road racing it is never over until the Fat Lady sings.
The pair took a wrong slot and in getting back on to the track, fell into a donga at high speed, causing considerable damage to the left front suspension. They decided to soldier on and arrived at the finish less than a minute ahead of Corbett/Mohr. Suspect marking at the entrance to the Start/Finish caused them to wrong slot again, giving the win to the Century Property Developments BAT.
Gibson and Brown are more than eager to prove themselves at the Carnival City Casino 400. Although neither of them has raced there before, they will definitely give a good account of themselves.
“We are still getting acquainted with the new Praesidium Financial Services BAT and we know that we will get quicker and quicker once we have had more time in the saddle” said Clint Gibson.