Father-and-son pair Herman and Wichard Süllwald won a race of attrition in the Special Vehicle class to take honours on the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race which ended at Kumakwane on Sunday.
There were only five classified finishers in the class and the Süllwalds, in the Elegant Stryker, scored their first Toyota Desert Race win and skyrocketed to the top of the Special vehicle and Class A championships. The win also erased an unpleasant memory for the pair who, a couple of years ago, spent a cold and uncomfortable night in the desert after a mechanical breakdown.
The high attrition rate saw un-fancied crews fill out the top five places with local driver Keith du Toit and Keith Solomon (White Star Racing BAT) finishing second. Third were Swaziland-based driver John Thomson and Maurice Zermatten, in a Zarco, who also won Class P – both crews scoring their best results to date.
Rounding out the top five were TDR debutants Daniel and Louw Zeelie (Maxxis Porter), and Philip de Vries and Johan Viljoen (Conqueror Porter). The Süllwalds were a massive 75 minutes plus ahead of du Toit who had around five minutes to spare on Thomson.
|Fast facts about TDR:|
|Special Vehicle class winner 2013||Herman and Wichard Sullwald|
|Number of teams in the class who finished||5|
|Events first run||1975 (moved to Botswana 1991)|
Six of the seven crews who went into the race ahead of the Süllwalds in the overall championship left Botswana without scoring a point. Only de Vries and Viljoen added to their tally, and that saw the Süllwalds move into a provisional 2,5 point lead over reigning SA champions Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen who were racing section one casualties in their Motorite BAT Viper.
With the TDR being the only marathon event on the Donaldson Cross-Country Championship calendar, and worth points-and-a-half, the Süllwalds made up a 35 point deficit to Hutchison and Stassen. De Vries and Viljoen also moved up a notch or two with four races remaining this season.
Nick and Ryan Harper (Motorite BAT Venom) and KwaZulu-Natal crew Clint Gibson and Gary Campbell (Dirt Sport Porter) were also racing section one casualties. They were joined on Sunday by overnight leaders Colin Matthews and Alan Smith (Century CR3) and former SA champions and Desert Race winners Quintin and Kallie Süllwald (Elegant BAT Venom) as the race took its toll.
A broken input shaft put paid to an impressive performance by Matthews and Smith, with a second Süllwald crew falling by the wayside late in the race.
For the Final Results of the Botswana Desert Race 2013 click here.
Date: 25 June 2013