Words: Charmaine Fortune
Delareyville, Saturday – A stunning comeback took Andrew and Zelma Beer, in a BAT, to overall victory in the LMC Mega World Barberspan 500, round two of the Northern Regions Cross Country Championship.
Courtesy of: Charmaine Fortune
The Beers started the day in 16th place overall and ninth in the Special Vehicle category, and then scythed their way through the field to finish a minute and 24 seconds ahead of Dylan Venter and Vincent van Allemann, in the 4x4Mega World Toyota Hilux, who won the Production Vehicle category. It was a maiden Northern Regions win for the Beers who also took the Class P honours.
For young Venter, in his second season of regional racing, and van Allemann it was their second Production Vehicle and Class D triumph of the season. The pair were in a class of their own and finished more than 20 minutes clear of Class E winners Bertus Kriel and Anton Muller in a Ford Ranger.
The day, however, belonged to the Beers. At the end of the first of a pair of 200 kilometre loops that made up the race, they had moved up to seventh overall and sixth in the Special Vehicle category.
A dramatic second loop saw Tony and Michael Gouveia (BAT), who looked in complete charge at the halfway stage, drop out of contention 40 kilometres from the finish when they hit a tree stump. A late surge then took the Beers ahead of veteran Giel Nel and Ferdie Pieterse, in the Zarco Truggy, and Kobus Fourie and Sidriaan de Villiers in a BAT.
They were followed home by Werner Kennedy and Thinus Venter (Aceco), who won the opening round of the season, who were fourth in the Special Vehicle category and in Class P. The top five were completed by Marthinus and Tiaan le Roux (Sandmaster) who took their second Class B victory of the season.
Second in Class B was John Boxhoorn (WPP) with Chris Hooman (Jetpatcher Isuzu Racing Sandmaster Magnum) and lady driver Suma Smit (Sandmaster Mighty Mag) third and fourth. Among the non-finishers was veteran Wolf-Peter Pfumfei in the Jetpatcher Isuzu Racing WPP Sandmaster.
In the Class D battle it was no contest with Venter and van Allemann coming home with more than an hour to spare over Andre Venter and Victor Fincham in an Isuzu KB. Third and the only other Class D finishers were brothers Sarel and Jaco Oosthuizen in the LMC Land Rover Defender.
Class E was a Ford Ranger benefit with Bertus Kriel/Anton Muller leading home Andries Mynhardt/Hein Kruger, and reigning champions Dirk Putter and Kobus Claasens who dropped back after leading at the halfway mark. There was also a mini fight back from round one winners Henri Zermatten and John Gerber, in another Ford Ranger, who finished fourth – just ahead of the Mitsubishi Pajero of Rob Reid and Bodo Schwegler – after starting from the back of the field.
The next round of the Northern Regions series is the Lichtenburg 250 on May 23.