The Kopanong Hotel Superteam is in a bullish mood after John Weir-Smith and Geoff Minnitt’s victory in the Special Vehicle category on the recent Lesotho Sun 400 and is aiming to mount a last ditch challenge for the Absa Special Vehicle Championship crown.
Weir-Smith and Minnitt trail the Special Vehicle category leaders Atang Makgekgenene and Buks Carolin by 104-points and will have to win overall on each of the three remaining rounds of the Absa Off Road Championship and also hope that none of the contenders for the title finish.
“I know this is a tall order but Geoff and myself are up to it and looking forward to the challenge,” said Weir-Smith. “The minor problems that plagued the Kopanong Hotel Superteam Jimco in the first half of the season have been sorted out and we are now more ready than ever to take on our rivals.”
Newcomers to off road racing, Chris Fick and Rob Knight, have managed to finish only once this season in the Class D Superteam Land Rover previously campaigned by Marius and Tracey van Vuuren. However, their poor finish rate is not as result of mechanical failure but rather one of not being able to make the time bar on recent events. The pair has assumed the role of Good Samaritans and spends too much time helping stranded competitors, including their own teammates, on events.
“Chris and Rob have been told that their main objective must be to finish and not to devote all their time to helping other competitors,” said Superteam principal, Andre Botha. “The Superteam subscribes to the concept of sportsmanship in off road racing and team members will do whatever they can to assist other competitors but not to the detriment of their own race.”
Botha and navigator, Beans Heydenrych compete in the Class F Superteam Chevy, which is the biggest vehicle in the field and fell foul of the narrow sections on the Lesotho Sun 400. There were sections where they had to make 4-point turns to get through narrow hairpins and they eventually retired when the power steering failed.
“The bushveld terrain on the Mafikeng 500 is better suited to the Chevy but my only concern is the sandy riverbed section,” said Botha. “The vehicle is a two-wheel drive and I’m a little worried that we could get bogged down in the thick sand.”
“The Mafikeng 500 is a deceptively tough event but the Kopanong Hotel Superteam is more than ready for anything the event and the competition throws at it.”