2011 Adenco 400 race results


Darling, Saturday – Veterans Hannes Grobler and Hennie ter Stege made a dream start to the season when they won the Production Vehicle category on the Adenco 400, the opening round of the Absa Off Road Championship, which ended here today.

Grobler, who is into his 35th year of motor racing, and ter Stege called on all their experience and know how to dominate the weekend in the diesel powered RFS BMW X3. The pair won the Donaldson Prologue on Friday to start first on the road, and then closed the door on Thomas Rundle and Juan Mohr to finish five and a half minutes ahead of the Barden Nissan Navara.

Grobler and ter Stege lost three minutes at the end of the first of two
loops that made up the race for prop shaft repairs, while Rundle and Mohr
were left to rue two punctures at the same spot on a tough and technical
route run in searing heat. After under achieving last season it was,
however, an encouraging start for Rundle and Mohr.

A surprise result saw former Class E champions Jannie Visser and Joks le
Roux score their best ever national result by taking the final podium place
in the Team Barberspan Toyota Hilux. Visser is the elder brother of reigning
South African champion Chris Visser who had to retire on his debut for the
factory Ford Racing team.

“Winning the prologue was the key to our victory,” said Grobler. “Hennie and
I knew we had to have a good start position to have a chance, and winning
the prologue gave us the edge we needed.

“A win early in the season is always a boost, and this will lift confidence
levels in the entire team.”

A solid performance saw Terence Marsh and George Smalberger finish fourth in
the ex factory Regent Racing Nissan Navara with the pair holding off Gary
Bertholdt and Andre Vermeulen in the Atlas Copco Toyota Hilux. Repairing
broken front differential mountings cost the Atlas Copco crew a wad of time
at the end of the first of two loops that made up the race.

With more fancied crews running into problems Louw de Bruin/Riaan Greyling
(Ruwacon Ford Ranger), Christiaan du Plooy/Henk Janse van Vuuren (RFS Toyota
Hilux) and Malcolm Kok/Johan Burger (Team Barberspan Toyota Hilux) move up
the pecking order to grab top eight finishes.

Among those for whom the weekend turned into a disappointment were Visser
and Badenhorst and the two new Team Castrol Toyota Hilux cars. Former SA
champion Duncan Vos and Rob Howie and Anthony Taylor and Chris Birkin ran
into teething problems with the Toyota Hilux double cabs.

While Taylor/Birkin eventually had to call it a day, Vos and Howie battled
to 10th place in the premier SP Class with both cars suffering from fuel
starvation and prop shaft problems. It was also a long day for Visser and
Badenhorst who showed their fighting qualities and, after a myriad of
problems, the crew were the last of the 12 classified finishers in the SP

Reigning Class D champions Deon Venter and Ian Palmer took the Class D
honours in the 4×4 Mega World Toyota Hilux. They were never in trouble after
teenager Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable (Ford Racing Ranger) ran into
problems on the prologue and had to start from the back of the field.

Brothers  Jack and Sarel Oosthuizen were a solid third in a Land Rover with
Hein Moolman and JD Wolfaardt fourth in a second 4×4 Mega World Toyota
Hilux. It was tough going for the Class D crews and even tougher for Class E
entrants where there were no finishers.


Darling, Saturday – Century Racing crew Colin Matthews and Alan Smith got a
monkey off their backs when they won the Special Vehicle category at the
opening round of this year’s Absa Off Road Championship, the Adenco 400,
which finished here today.

It was a maiden win for a team previously known as Donaldson Prologue
specialists and provided the Class P brigade with a third overall victory in
the national championship. Matthews and Smith won the Friday prologue to
determine start positions, and then dominated the race to finish around
eight minutes ahead of the father and son combination of Nick and Ryan
Harper in the Motorite BAT.

For the Harpers, with Ryan making a return to racing after a long term
shoulder injury, it was their first outing in the Motorite team running the
premier Class A category.

The podium was completed by the reigning South African champions Kallie and
Quintin Sullwald who overcame a ten minute penalty during the Friday
prologue to determine start positions for the race.

“It was a long time coming but it was worth the wait,” said a delighted
Matthews. “Over the last 80 kilometres of the race we were a little worried
about a noise from the back of the car, and eased up a little.

“Other than that the prologue and the race were trouble free, and we were
left wondering what took us so long to finally win an event.”

Both the Harpers and the Sullwald’s had solid weekends that augur well for
the rest of the season. The Harpers were as steady as ever, while the
Sullwald’s again showed an aggressive streak that makes them such tough

“We have messed up this race before, and were determined to make a solid
start to the season,” said Harper senior. “It worked out well and it is
always nice to get on the podium on debut for a new team.”

Reigning Class P champions Johan van Staden and James Rossouw, in the Atlas
Copco BAT, also had to overcome a 10 minute penalty to finish fourth overall
in their Class A debut. The top five were rounded out by KwaZulu-Natal crew
Don Thomson and Wayne Foster, in another Class P entry with the pair, in an
ageing Zarco, were slowed late in the race with a broken radiator pipe.

It was a good event for Class P crews who also supplied the next three
places. The husband and wife pairing of Marius and Jolinda Fourie (BHP BAT)
led home brothers Johan and Etienne Bezuidenhout, in the Adenco BAT, and RFS
Magalies 400 winners Archie Rutherford and Mike Lawrenson in the Regent
Racing Jimco.

Keith du Toit and Ashley Thorn, in the White Star Racing BAT, were ninth
overall and fourth in Class A despite a starter motor malfunction. Behind
them yet another Class P crew in debutant Richard Fuller and old timer Geoff
Minnitt rounded out the top 10 in the Atlas Copco BAT after also running
into starter problems.

A tough and technical route and intense heat took a heavy toll. A troubled
first race in the Total BAT saw Shameer Variawa and Siegfried Rossouw finish
a lowly 11th  and fifth in Class A, while former South African champions
Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen were forced to retire the Motorite 4×4
Revo1 with a broken prop shaft.

Jimmy Zahos and Stefan Coetzee (Cobalt Racing Porter) and brothers Brett and
Steve Parker (Jimco) were also among the non finishers on what was a tough
event  with which to kick off the season.

There was also a maiden win in Class B for Keith Makenete and debutant
co-driver Letlatsa Lehana in a Zarco. After the retirement of the
father/daughter combination of Coetzee and Sandra Labuscagne, with the
Raysonics Zarco suffering from a gearbox failure, Makenete and Lehana
gradually ground down veteran Peter Pfumfei (WPP) who is making a return to
national competition this year.

WEBSITE www.saoffroadracing.co.za
PHOTOGRAPHS www.motorpics.co.za

Adenco 400 rally results: 20 March 2010

MR NICE GUYS: Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst won the first round of the SA Off-Road championship that ended in Darling on Saturday. Image: MOTORPICS


Nice guys do win and Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst proved it at the Adenco 400, round one of the Absa Off Road Championship, which ended in Darling on Saturday.

Visser and Badenhorst, in the RFS/Visser Transport Toyota Hilux, capped a stunning weekend with a maiden Production Vehicle national championship victory. The pair, who also took the premier Class SP honours, dominated the weekend by winning the Donaldson Prologue to determine start positions before romping away with the race in sweltering conditions.

“It was a perfect race,” said a delighted Visser, hugging his small daughter at the finish. “The car was perfect, Japie did a great job and all we had to do on the last loop was avoid mistakes.

“The route was rough and dusty but this is a great way to start the season, and hopefully we can keep the momentum going.”

Visser and Badenhorst came in just over six minutes ahead of Gary Bertholdt and Andre Vermeulen who produced another workmanlike performance in the Atlas Copco Toyota Hilux. Toyota privateers completed a clean sweep of the podium positions when former SA champion Hannes Grobler, having his first outing in an RFS Toyota Hilux after driving various Nissan products for 33 years, and Hennie ter Stege came in third.

A late charge by former Eastern Transvaal rugby star Ramon Bezuidenhout and wife Maret (Red Star Raceway Toyota Hilux) failed to take them ahead of the hugely experienced Grobler and ter Stege. It was, however, a great performance from the Bezuidenhout’s who were having their first SP Class outing.

A Toyota clean sweep of the top five was then nipped in the bud by the Regent Racing Nissan Navara in the hands of Mike Whitehouse and Mathew Carlson. In their first Production Car outing the brothers in law edged out Christiaan du Plooy and Henk Jansen van Vuuren in a second RFS Toyota Hilux.

For the Team Castrol Toyota squad under new team principal Glyn Hall, it was not an auspicious start to the season. Both factory cars, crewed by South African champion Duncan Vos and Rob Howie and Anthony Taylor and Robin Houghton, failed to complete the first of two loops that made up the race.

It was a particularly unhappy outing for Vos and Howie. After the Donaldson Prologue they were penalised 15 minutes for a faulty warning light and, like Taylor and Houghton, went out with suspension problems.

Reigning champions Dewald van Breda and Johann du Toit, in the Northam Toyota D4D, were the only finishers in Class D. A clutch repair job after the prologue was their only hiccup.

Class E also saw only one crew see out the distance with newcomers Gerald le Roux and Willem Pretorius bringing home the Ruwacon Ford Ranger in one piece. Pikkie Labuschagne and Rickus Erasmus (4×4 Megaworld Toyota Hilux) and local crew Etienne Bezuidenhout and Hanro Visser (Adenco Ford Ranger) were early casualties.


Former South African champion Shameer Variawa and Siegfried Rousseau produced a flawless performance to win the Special Vehicle category at the Adenco 400, round one of the Absa Off Road Championship, which ended in Darling on Saturday.

Provisional results saw Variawa and Rousseau, in the Team Total Porter, romp to what in the end was a comfortable victory in sweltering hot West Coast conditions. It was a win set when the Team Total pair also won the Donaldson Prologue to determine start positions.

Variawa and Rousseau held off tough challenges from Herman and Wichard Sullwald (Sullwald Racing SVR) and Colin Matthews and Alan Smith in the Century Racing BAT. The Sullwald’s eventually fell by the wayside on the second of the two loops that made up race distance, and Mathews/Smith could not pressurise the Team Total pair into a telling mistake.

Matthews and Smith eventually finished nearly two and a half minutes behind Variawa and Rousseau. The Century Racing pair, in turn, had more than 10 minutes in hand over reigning South African champions Evan Hutchison and Achim Bergmann in the Motorite BAT.

Being first on the road has its pros and cons, and for the Team Total pair it almost put paid to their chances. Within the first couple of kilometres a string of closed gates, which were summarily dealt with, left barbed wire wound around three of the Porter’s wheels.

Variawa/Rousseau finished the first loop only seconds ahead of the Sullwald’s. The Sullwald challenge then evaporated midway through the final loop but a well judged race did the trick for Variawa and Rousseau.

“We kept our heads and a steady pace and it paid off,” said Variawa. “We were under a little pressure at the end of the first loop, but once the Sullwald’s went missing we could afford to ease off the pace a little.”

Fourth place went to veteran Nardus Alberts and son Louis, in the Wrapsa BAT, with Johan van Staden and James Rossouw completing the top five in the KEC BAT. Van Staden and Rossouw overcame a shaky start to win Class P with their job made a little easier when South African champion Johan Bezuidenhout and brother Deon, in the Adenco BAT, blew a motor on the second loop.

Veterans Richard Schilling and Chris Davies were second in Class P in an Aceco with Archie Rutherford and Craig Doubtfire third in the Regent Racing Jimco. Over half an hour separated van Staden/Rossouw, the 2009 Rookies of the Year, and the Regent Racing pair.

Reigning South African champion Derick du Toit and local businessman Adre Rheeder (Orange Tree BAT) took a comfortable win in Class B. It was Rheeder’s first ever off road race with the pair promoting the Darling wine route.

Local crew Marius Nicholson and Rod Jeffrey, in an Orange Tree Opel, trailed in second a long way in arrears.

Courtesy of SAORC

Adenco 400 Off Road Race: 20 March 2010

Adenco 400 Rally

The 2010 Absa Off Road Championship starts off with the first event of the season, the Adenco 400, in Darling on the West Coast on March 20 and 21.

Adenco 400 chief organiser Bill Bright said that the finishing touches were being put to a route that would again provide Special and Production Vehicle category competitors with a stern test. The route is likely to incorporate some new sections not used before and will be a tough one.

The Adenco 400 gets underway with the Prologue at 13h00 on Friday with the main event starting at 08h00 on Saturday 21 March.

As always the CPMCC has paid particular attention to making the route as spectator-friendly as possible and fans will have many opportunities to see the spectacular Production and Special Vehicles in action on each lap.

Contact Bill Bright 082 8077 797 for further info.