South Africa Off-Road Racing 2007
South Africa Off-Road Racing
Ford Carnival City 400
Nissan Completes Unique 1-2-3 in Absa Off Road Championship
to Add to Sixth Manufacturers' Championship in Seven Years
Carnival City, East Rand, (December 1, 2007)
 Copyright © Nissan South Africa 
Nissan completed another successful ABSA Off Road Championship by capturing a unique 1-2-3 in the drivers' championship and a 1-2-4 in the co-drivers' competition in the eighth and final round at Carnival City on the East Rand this afternoon.

Last year's champions Hannes Grobler and Francois Jordaan (Nissan Navara) did well to come second, after starting from eighth position (thanks to a flat wheel on Fridays 45km prologue) and then competing the last 70km of Saturdays race with a broken gearlever. In the process, Jordaan clinched his third co-drivers' championship.

Nissan's Duncan Vos, who wrapped up his second and Nissan's seventh successive drivers' championship in round seven in the second factory Navara last month, and co-driver Ralph Pitchford finished fifth. Pitchford nevertheless was runner-up in the co-drivers' championship despite missing two rounds due to business commitments. Norwegian Ivar Tollefsen and South African co-driver VZ van Zyl finished fourth in the third works Nissan Navara, securing third place in the drivers' championship for the Norwegian in his debut year in South Africa.

Nissan won the manufacturers' challenge for the day with Grobler/Jordaan (second), Tollefsen/Van Zyl (fourth) and Vos/Pitchford (fifth).

Such was Nissan's domination of this year's championship that they won the prestigious manufacturers' title for the sixth time in seven years with two of the eight rounds remaining.
 Copyright © Nissan South Africa 
Vos won four rounds and Grobler three. It was the fifth time in seven years that Nissan has won seven out of eight races in a championship year.

Vos also won the super production class (drivers) from team-mates Grobler and Tollefsen. Jordaan won the co-drivers' contest from team-mate Pitchford and Ford's Skjoldhammer.

The Ford Carnival City 400 was run in unusually dry and dusty conditions and the tough route in the Nigel and mountainous Heidelberg areas took its toll. Just 16 of the 32 production vehicles completed the event.

"It's been a long and demanding year," said Glyn Hall, general manager of Nissan Motorsport. "To finish in the top three places in the drivers' championship and also win the manufacturers' championship is a great reward for a lot of hard work by the whole team as well as the Nissan privateers.

"I have to thank my team for their dedication and the long hours they have put in throughout a demanding season. A big 'thank you' also to the enthusiastic band of Nissan privateers who once again have helped Nissan to take the manufacturers' prize."

Rd.8 Ford Carnival City 400

Pos Driver Car Time
1 N Woolridge/K Skjoldhammer Ford 5h 32m 20s
2 H Grobler/F Jordaan Nissan Navara + 1m
3 M Cronje/C Birkin Toyota + 1m 53s
4 I Tollefsen/A van Zyl Nissan Navara + 10m 42s
5 D Vos/R Pitchford Nissan Navara + 21m 59s
6 H de Bruyn/J de Bruyn Toyota + 42m 15s
7 K van Tonder/R Guelpa Ford Ranger + 59m 42s
8 A du Plessis/J Knox Toyota + 1h 3m 49s
9 R Bezuidenhout/S Lock Toyota + 1h 4m 5s
10 J Visser/J le Roux Toyota Hilux + 1h 4m 44s