SA off road championship beckons for Motorite Racing
Date : 2012-11-21
Hutchison and co-driver Danie Stassen (Motorite BAT Venom) are one of three combinations still in contention for the class A and overall special vehicle category titles after seven rounds in five provinces and two countries. Taking into account that competitors have to drop their worst score of the season, they effectively lead Johan van Staden and Mike Lawrenson (BAT Spec 5) by 12 points and brothers Laurence and Gerhard du Plessis (Zarco Magnum) by 13,5 points with a maximum of 25 on offer.
“Any one of the three of us could win, but we’ve worked our way into pole position and we intend keeping it that way,” said Hutchison, who is chasing his third and Motorite Racing’s fourth overall title. “We’re going for gold.”
In a closely-contested season that has seen six different winners in seven races, Hutchison and Stassen have emerged the bookies’ favourites with solid performances throughout the BAT Venom’s debut season. They won the prestigious marathon Toyota 1000 Desert Race in Botswana in June and have finished second on three occasions, including in each of the last two rounds. Together with their closest rivals, they are the only team to have scored points in each round.
Hutchison, class B champion in 2005 and class A and overall national champion in 2007 and 2009, is confident his new challenger is capable of winning the championship in its first year. “Each of the four championships the team has won since our first appearance in off road racing in 2005 has been won in the debut year of a vehicle specifically commissioned by the team. We aim to keep this tradition alive.”
Motorite Racing team-mates Nick and son Ryan Harper are fourth in the points standings and, while they are no longer in contention in the title chase, will be covering the championship leaders’ backs. They are having only their third outing in a second, new BAT Venom, and with podium finishes in each of the last two rounds have demonstrated that they’re more than capable of frustrating the title aspirations of the team’s closest challengers.
Motorite Racing is a financial supporter of Rhino Force (www.rhinoforce.co.za), an organisation endorsed by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) that is engaged in the fight against rhino poaching. Both cars have been carrying the Rhino Force logo and spreading the message among the off road racing community around the country. Their wire rhino mascot is an established feature in the service park.
Race headquarters for the Gold 400, the start/finish and the designated service park will all be located at the Kloof Country Club in Glenharvie, some 70 kilometres west of Johannesburg. The Donaldson Prologue that determines the start order for Saturday’s race will be run over a 60 kilometre route and will start at 08.30 on Friday.
The race will cover two loops of a 180 kilometre route that is expected to provide a challenging mixture of fast open sections along firebreaks with rocky technical sections in the Highveld koppies.
Motorite Racing is the motor sport division of Motorite Insurance Administrators, the largest independent mechanical breakdown insurance and full maintenance plan service provider and administrator in South Africa.