Yesterday’s stage 8 of the South American Dakar held much bad luck for the previous stage winner Nasser Al-Attiyah, who suffered problems with his Hummer throughout the longest special of the event. Spaniard Joan “Nani” Roma and Frenchman Michel Périn put on a superb display of driving in the final sections to bring their Mini to the Antofagasta bivouac in first place.
After the cancellation of Friday’s stage 6 due to exceptionally poor conditions, the Dakar field continued to finish the first week of the rally raid with a loop from and to the bivouac in Copiapo for stage 7. Triumphant were the Hummers of Nasser Al-Attiyah and Robby Gordon.
A Production Vehicle category dog fight is almost certain to develop on the Nissan Sugarbelt 400, round three of the Absa Off Road Championship, in the Eston area of KwaZulu-Natal on May 16 and 17.
Duncan Vos has won the overall drivers title and Nissan the manufacturer’s championship, but there is still plenty at stake at the Ford Carnival City 400, the final round of the Absa Off Road Championship, on November 30 and December 1.
With Nissan having secured all three major titles on offer in this year’s Absa Off Road Championship for production vehicles (drivers’, co-drivers’ and manufacturers’), it would be natural to assume that there is little to look forward to in the final round at Carnival City this weekend (November 30/December 1).
With two races remaining on the Absa Off Road Championship calendar, Production Vehicle championships are delicately poised. The only certainty at this stage in terms of the overall and premier Super Production Class championships is that they will be won by Nissan works crews. Given the fact that Nissan have won six out of six races so far this season that is no surprise – but the ingredients are there for some unusual twists.
Former South African champions Duncan Vos and Ralph Pitchford are on track to win the Production Vehicle category in this year’s Absa Off Road Championship.
Fish River Sun – Castrol Toyota factory pair Mark Cronje/Chris Birkin and Ford privateers Manfred Schroder/Ward Huxtable shared the Production Vehicle spoils today on the prologue for tomorrow’s Amathole 500.
Duncan Vos and Ralph Pitchford (Nissan Navara) made it three in a row when they won the Amathole 400, round five of the Absa SA Off Road Championship, which ended at the Fish River Sun in the Eastern Cape on Saturday afternoon.
Nissan Motorsport is aiming to make it five wins from five starts when its three red Sasol-backed Super Production class Nissan Navara Pickups line up for this weekend’s (July 27 and 28) Amathole 500, round five of the Absa Off Road Championship, in the Eastern Cape.