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After five rounds of the South African Cross Country Series (SACCS) and with only one round to go, the Special Vehicle category has new overall leaders and with only two points separating the leading two teams, the title can go either way at the sixth and final race of the season.
Coetzee Labuscagne and daughter Sandra Labuscagne-Jonck (4×4 Mega World ARB Porter) held the overall lead in the Special Vehicle category for the best part of the season, but after the recent Harrismith 400, John Telford/Victory Ntsekhe (Calcamite BAT) overtook them and now lead by a slender two points. Despite having an up and down season, Stefan van Pletzen/Jaco Pieterse (Live Lesotho Chenowth) are currently third overall.
The father and daughter team are, however, still the leaders of the Class A drivers and navigators’ championships where they lead Telford/Ntsheke by three points. The leaders have been utterly consistent this season and are the only team who have started and finished each race so far while Telford/Ntsheke could not complete the Dundee event. With the rest of the pack not in with a chance on the title, the Class A title battle will keep both teams and their supporters on the edge of their seats as all eyes will be on the scoreboard at the final event of the season.
Van Pletzen/Pieterse have won twice so far this year, but not being able to score on three occasions, resulted in them now trailing Telford/Ntsheke by 38 points. It will be interesting to see if team orders will play a role as their team-mates, Werner Kennedy/CJ van Pletzen (Porter) are only 11 points behind them in the standings. It is almost a given that a Live Lesotho team will round off the Class A podium at the end of the season. The only question remaining is which team it will be.
André and Ralph Voigts did not compete regularly, but when they did, they bagged good points resulting in them currently filling the fifth place in the Class A standings.
In the Class P drivers’ championship, Nic Goslar (SA Clinics Zarco) leads Julio Ferreira (Sandmaster) by 16 points, but Goslar made use of various navigators and it is Onakebetse Seemise, who sat next to Ferreira at the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race, who leads the Class P navigators’ standings. He is six points ahead of Andrew Massey with Joe Lima, who also navigated for Goslar, in third place, 13 points behind Massey.
Nico du Rand/JG Claassen (Can-Am Maverick) lead the Side x Side Interprovincial Challenge and are comfortably ahead of Werner Mostert/Rob Green (Can-Am Maverick). Anything can, however, still change for Mostert/Green who are locked in a battle with Peter Walter/Shaun de Villiers (Can-Am Maverick). In the drivers’ standings, Walter is 16 points behind Mostert while De Villiers trails Green by a single point in the navigators’ standings. The cards can end up scrambled if more teams, who do not have an interest in the titles, compete and score good points at the final event. Du Rand/Claassen will not have to look behind them, but if they do, they will see a fierce battle for the final two podium positions.
The final round of the 2018 SACCS, the Gold 400, takes place on 2 and 3 November at the Kloof Recreation Club at Glenharvie in Westonaria on the outskirts of Gauteng.