On a day of drama and surprises KwaZulu-Natal crew Andre and Ralph Voigts scored a maiden national championship victory when they won the Battlefields 400, round two of the South African Cross Country Series (SACCS).
The Voigts, in a BAT Venom, won a war of attrition which saw only three of 10 starters make it to the finish. On a rough and slippery course where leaving the track was courting disaster, the Voigts came in more than 20 minutes ahead of Nic Goslar and Joe Lima (SA Clinics Zarco Magnum) who won Class P.
Goslar and Lima started from the back of the field, but such was the rate of retirements that they gradually worked their way up the field. For Goslar and Lima, standing in for regular co-driver Andrew Massey, it was their best result in a national championship event. They had around three minutes to spare over Coetzee Labuscagne and daughter Sandra Labuscagne-Jonck in the 4x$ Mega World ARB Porter. The vastly experienced Labuscagne and daughter Sandra who also has international experience did nothing to hatm a reputation for getting cars to the finish.
The Voigts started the day in third place behind qualifying race winners Lance Trethewey and Adriaan Roets (LTE BAT Viper) and former Class P champions John Thomson and Maurice Zermatten in a Zarco Magnum. The KZN crew then found themselves in the lead when Trethewey/Roets and Thomson/Zermatten both retired with mechanical issues on the second of 170 kilometer loops that made up the race.
Behind them the Labuscagnes were struggling. They did most of the race without in-car communications and without brakes, but managed to keep in touch with Goslar and Lima with minutes separating the cars at the finish. "It was a long day and a lucky result," said Labuscagne afterwards. The result, however, took the pair to the top of the overall and Class A championships.
Among the retirements were Stefan van Pletzen and Jaco Pieterse (Live Lesotho Chenowth), the early championship leaders, and reigning Class P champions John Telford and Victor Ntsekhe in the Calcamite BAT Warbird. Telford and Ntsekhe finished second to van Pletzen and Pieterse in the opening race of the season where they made their debut in Class A.
The next event on the SACCS calendar take competitors to Botswana for the iconic Toyota 1000 Desert Race from June 22 to 24.
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