The Parys 400, the sixth and final round of the 2019 South African Cross Country Series (SACCS) that took place this weekend in the Free State, produced new winners in both the Special Vehicle category and the Side by Side National Championship after a challenging event where lots of rain resulted in the route changing character overnight.
The main race started earlier on Saturday morning for competitors to complete the first of the two 170km loops and watch the final of the Rugby World Cup at the Parys airfield before taking on the second loop. South Africa beat England in Japan and then it was back to racing for the SACCS competitors when the second loop started at 13:15. The final results looked nothing like the starting order after the 45km Qualifying Race on Friday and there were new winners to round off the season.
The Voigts brothers, Ralph and André (Voigt Group BAT) took their first victory this season in the Special Vehicle category after they started the race from third place. They were five minutes and 45 seconds clear of second placed John Thomson/Maurice Zermatten (Mormond Zarco) who were slowed down somewhat by a hole in the exhaust with 40 kilometres to go to the end of the first loop. Their service crew missed some of the rugby while repairing it at the Designated Service Point (DSP) at the halfway mark and the team completed a problem-free second loop of the race they really enjoyed.
Another team consisting of two brothers, Taahir and Talha Moosajee (Dunlop Zone Stryker) rounded their season off with yet another podium result when they claimed the third spot in the Special Vehicle category and in Class A. They lost time on the second loop as they had to stop and check why the oil-pressure light came on 20 kilometres into the race, but then pushed hard to the finish.
It was another good day for newcomer Trace Price Moor who tackled his first SACCS race with navigator Shaun Braithwaite (BAT). The team posted the fastest time in Class P after the Qualifying Race and continued to win the class while they also finished fourth overall.
They were followed by Sandra Labuscagne-Jonck and husband, Jaco Jonck (Total Agri Porter) who posted the fastest time in the Special Vehicle category after the Qualifying Race. The couple experienced a misfire 40 kilometres into the first loop that slowed them down and had to settle for fifth place overall and fourth in Class A, a good result to finish the season where Sandra moved in behind the steering wheel after reading the notes for many years for her father, Coetzee Labuscagne.
There was joy for the Makenete brothers, Keith and Andrew (BAT) who finished their first race of the season. They were second in Class P with Julio Ferreira/Mohammed Moulson (Aceco) third in Class P and seventh in the Special Vehicle category.
After two runner-up results, it was also a first victory for Dewald van Breda/Johann du Toit (Can-Am Maverick) in the Side by Side National Championship (SxS NC) this season. They started the race from third place in the SxS category. Peter Walter/Shaun de Villiers finished second despite a small penalty and trailed the winners by seven minutes and 49 seconds with Christo Rose/Dirk Swart rounding off the podium, nine minutes 21 seconds further behind.
The Lichtenburg 400 winners, Theo Erasmus/Edward Odendaal lost time during the first of the two loops and then posted the fastest time of the SxS competitors during the second loop, but they still had to settle for the fourth place this time round. Wickus Haasbroek/Jurgens Smith finished fifth with the newly crowned champions, Werner and Leon Mostert (Elf Renault Can-Am Maverick) sixth after lost a huge amount of time in the second of the two loops. All teams competed in Can-Am Maverick SxS vehicles.
The Parys 400 was a testing final to the 2019 SACCS Championship that saw the crowning of new champions in the Special Vehicle category as well as the crowning of the very first champions in the new SxS NC.