Winterton, KwaZulu-Natal – It was a second victory on the trot for Little and Large, as Natalian Lance Trethewey and his significantly more compact navigator, Adriaan Roets, are affectionately known. The pair took a giant leap towards their goal of winning the 2019 Special Vehicle champions, by taking a flag-to-flag victory on the Berg 400.
“It was hard work out there, but we had a clean run in the first loop,” said a very happy Trethewey after ascending to the top step of the podium at the DSP, which was based at the Waffle Hut, south of Winterton. “We had a big, fifth-gear-flat-out moment in loop two, but other than that, no problems.”
The LT Earthmovers BAT Venom crew finished 24 minutes clear of John Telford and Victor Ntsekhe (Calcamite BAT Warbird), who described Loop 1 as a “nightmare”. The pair again lost comms, as well as a body panel on their car, which lead to a number of overshoots and wrong slots.
Third place in Class A went to Sandra Jonck and husband Jaco, who claimed that “almost nothing” worked during the opening loop: “The intercom failed, the GPS failed – and then my navigator failed,” said Sandra. “Well, he didn’t really fail so much, as suffer from severe motion sickness, which rendered him a passenger in the car for most of the loop.”
The A77 Stryker of Clint Gibson and Boyd Dreyer claimed fourth spot, finishing seven minutes adrift of the Joncks. They reported a clean run on Loop 1, but a puncture on Loop 2 saw them lose time to the cars ahead of them.
Dean Bradbury and Rikus Hattingh, in a BAT Viper, completed the Qualifying Race and Loop 1 of the main event, but fell foul to the second loop of the race.
Class P saw Nic Goslar and Andrew Massey bring their SA Clinics Zarco Magnum home in a time of 05:48:09. They were the sole finishers in Class P, after class rivals Keith Makenete and Ntaote Bereng retired during the first loop of the Berg 400, due to clutch problems.
Werner and Leon Mostert, in the Can Am Maverick went from qualifying as the last runner in the side-by-side category to winning the race – a repeat of their performance at the Mpumalanga 400.
“We had a terrible qualifying race,” said Mostert after making it to the DSP in first place on Saturday afternoon. “But it all came together during the main race, and even though the going was tough in places, we managed to bring it home in the end.”
The Mosterts pipped Peter Walter and Shaun de Villiers to the post by just shy of eleven minutes, with Gerry van der Byl and Andrew Katay bringing their Can Am Maverick home in third place.
Next up on the 2019 SACCS calendar is the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race, which takes place on 21-23 June in the area around the town of Selebi Phikwe in Botswana. This is the sole marathon event on the South African cross country calendar.