The launch of the new Super Production Class in the Absa off Road Championship that was scheduled for the 25th Toyota 1000 Desert Race from June 3-5 has been delayed due to a shortage of critical components to complete the vehicles.
Despite the fact that Nissan Motorsport has built and is testing a prototype, they along with Ford and Toyota are affected by the shortage.
The MSA Off Road Car Racing Commission has, with the blessing of the three manufacturers, decreed that the Super Production Class will only be launched once each manufacturer is able to field at least one vehicle.
“This new class, like the S2000 Class in rallying, will set new standards in off road racing worldwide,” said MSA Off Road Car Racing Commission President, Piet Swanepoel. “There is little point in rushing the introduction of a class that I believe will be the benchmark for future international competition.”
Nissan has been granted dispensation to continue racing its Class T vehicles in Class F until such time as all the manufacturers are on stream to launch their Super Production vehicles.”
The Super Production Class is unique in many respects, most notable of which is the total commitment among the participating manufacturers to work together to ensure that it is a success.
The new vehicles share common components like gearboxes, transfer cases, differentials, front uprights, brake disks, brake calipers, drive shafts and CV joints, many of which have been sourced from the individual manufacturers. However, each manufacturer has total freedom, within the rules, to manufacture a chassis of its own design and fit an engine from within its product range that does not exceed a capacity of 4,5 litres.
Nissan Motorsport has had the advantage of testing its prototype vehicle, which has deliver some surprising results.
“The Nissan Super Production vehicle handles and performs well and is almost as the exciting as the current Class F vehicles,” said Nissan Motorsport manager, Glyn Hall. “Added to that it looks and sounds as good as the Hardbody pickups we have been racing for three years and I am confident that Ford and Toyota’s vehicles will be more than a match for our own.”
“I, like Neil Woolridge from Team Ford Racing and Wammy Haddad from Toyota Motorsport, cannot wait for the day when we each field at least two Super Production vehicles in the Absa Off Road Championship, because it will be a spectacle to behold.”
The official launch date of the new Super Production Class will be announced in due course.