Hannes Grobler and Francois Jordaan chalked up their first win of the 2005 Absa Off Road Championship when they stormed across the finish line on the Nissan Dealer 400, after leading for all but the first 15 minutes of the race.
Second across the line were Special Vehicle category winners Terence Marsh and Michael Whitehouse in the Nashua Mobile BAT Spec-1. The pair has been knocking at the door for some time and are basking in the glory of their maiden win.
KwaZulu-Natal crew Will Battershill and Reg Sutton made their Class A debut in the ex-Marsh Jimco and put on a polished performance to come from 10th overall to finish third overall and second in the Special Vehicle category. Two times Nissan Dealer 400 winner Atang Makgekgenene and Buks Carolin (Total Jimco) led up until the midway point on lap two but had to stop to replace a flat wheel, which cost them eight minutes and a possible third successive victory. The reigning Special Vehicle champions had to settle for fourth overall and third in the Special Vehicle category.
Another KwaZulu-Natal crew, Manfred Schroder and Alec Harris in the Team Ford Racing Ranger V6 got the better of Class D rivals Mark Cronje and Chris Birkin in the Castrol Toyota Hilux 2.7i to notch up their second successive Class D win of the season. The rival crews finished second and third in the Production Vehicle category respectively.
Seventh overall, fourth in the Special Vehicle category and first in Class B were Ernest Corbett and son-in-law Warwick Goosen in the Century Property Developments BAT. The pair was locked in a race-long battle with Nissan Sugarbelt 400 Class B winners Evan Hutchison and Trevor Ormerod (Motorite Racing BAT) who have mysteriously dropped off the leader board.
Gavin Cronje and Robin Houghton started 18th in the Castrol Toyota Hilux 2.7i and finished eighth overall, fourth in the Production Vehicle category and third in Class D in their first outing in the Western Cape.
Father and son Robert and Gareth Wark started fifth in the Superpave Chenowth but dropped down the field to finish ninth overall and fifth in the Special Vehicle category with Giel Nel and Peter Newbery, who started 26th in the LUK / ATE Zarco Lite, 10th overall and sixth in the Special Vehicle category.
Alfie Cox and Ralph Pitchford ran in second place in the Proudly South African Nissan Hardbody for much of the race but were forced to retire with drive train problems shortly before the finish.