A new Production Vehicle class, which will have strong manufacturer representation, is set to add spice to the 2005 SA Off Road Championship.
The Super Production Class will be the new manufacturer’s playground with a number of privateers expected to also join the fray in what is intended to be a highly competitive and affordable class that will fit between Class T for unlimited two and four-wheel drive vehicles and Class D for 6-cylinder vehicles with limited modifications.
Nissan, Ford and Toyota have come to an agreement whereby neither party will contest Class T and those manufacturers such as Nissan and Ford that have Class T vehicles have undertaken to sell them overseas.
Class T will be combined with Class F and be known as Class F in future and cater for the number of privately owned vehicles such as Cliff Barker’s Land Rover, Cliff Weichelt’s N1 4x4 Ford, Andre Botha’s Kopanong Hotel Superteam Chevy and the Jeep that was campaigned by Scott Abraham and Richard Carolin in 2003.
“The Super Production Class is an exciting development for off road racing and, in particular, for the Production Vehicle category,” said MSA Off Road Car Racing Commission President, Piet Swanepoel. “Nissan, Ford and Toyota management have been collaborating for some time on the project with the view to using common components such as gearboxes, brakes, suspension and differentials in an effort to cap costs and also level the playing field.”
“Up to 4,5 litre V6 or V8 engines will be fitted to the vehicles and we expect that this will go a long way towards minimising the domination of any one make in the future.”
The vehicles will have a similar wheelbase and track to the existing Class T vehicles, will look, handle and sound the same and from a performance perspective there should be very little difference as far as top speeds are concerned.
Nissan, Ford and Toyota intend entering multi-car teams and there are two other manufacturers who are keeping an eye on developments.
Class D and Class E for 4-cylinder vehicles with limited modifications will remain as is and are expected to be as well supported and competitive as they have been this season.