The O’Hagan’s/Kopanong Hotel Superteam attempt at winning four classes on the recent Sun City 400 ended in major disappointment when three of the four team vehicles were forced into retirement by minor technical problems that could have been avoided.
Class S championship leader Nick Goslar and co-driver Warren Bowie were once again the star performers and the only Superteam crew to finish, albeit second, a mere 16 seconds behind archrivals Mohammed Noor and Mohammed Moultsen in the Supa Veg Raceco despite completing 80 percent of the race without power steering.
Toyota 1000 Desert Race winner John Weir-Smith and stand-in co-driver Peter Karam had a tough time during the 40km Prologue first getting bogged down at a very tricky hairpin bend and then having the withdraw when the left front spindle and brake caliper sheared off. Superteam technicians worked long hours to replace the damaged components and the pair were able to start the main event, but way down in 47th place overall. Weir-Smith once again drove like a man possessed and had moved up to second in Class A when the steering duck foot on the O’Hagan’s/Kopanong Hotel Superteam Jimco sheared off.
Gareth Wark started the main event well placed and soon found himself in the Class B lead but he too would be forced to retire when a spring on the front suspension of the O’Hagan’s/Kopanong Hotel Superteam Mighty Mag broke.
Superteam co-founder Andre Botha and Beans Heydenrych had a clean run and were comfortably ahead of Class F championship leaders Jaap Zeeman and Johannes Barwise but then disaster struck. A water hose on the O’Hagan’s/Kopanong Hotel Superteam Chevy’s V8 engine came loose and they retired with a suspected blown head gasket.
“Words cannot describe our disappointment,” said Andre Botha. “The Superteam was bullish before the Sun City 400 and I firmly believe that our objective of winning four classes was achievable but insufficient preparation and the fact that the racing gods were not on our side weighed against us.”
“Now it’s a case of consolidating and preserving Nick Goslar’s Class S championship lead over the next two events following which a completely new strategy and structure will be implemented for the 2004 season.”
The O’Hagan’s/Kopanong Hotel Superteam will enter all four vehicles for the Toyota Dealer 400, round seven of the SA Off Road Championship…presented by Absa, which takes place in the Lydenburg area on October 24 and 25.