By Donna Collins
THE “monsters” of motorsport, Jeeps, Land Rovers and ‘Pipe’ cars modified with raised suspensions, roll bars and massive tyres are going into battle next month to fight for championship points. With the Vasbyt 4×4 national championships now in full swing after the second event for the year was held in Karibib recently, 18 vehicles which tackled a grueling obstacle course will battle it out again in August. With five events in the annual calendar, and competitions held in Windhoek, Otjiwarongo, Karibib and Walvis Bay, the Vasbyt 4×4 obstacle courses are the ultimate offroad test. The three competing classes namely class A, B and the popular modified C class, are battling out for the title, with a nailbiting event taking place on August 4 behind Dune 7. This testing Vasbyt 4×4 arena which hosts the year-end ‘humdinger’, is a ten course obstacle challenge, which comprises steep dune hill climbs, mud pits, tyre dongas and rough rock scrambles to mention just some. The field of drivers and co-drivers are masters at negotiating their 4×4’s over some of the most jaw rattling terrain. But as the going gets tough, many have to swallow their pride and have their mud splattered vehicle towed out as the survivors continue. Chairperson of the Namib Desert 4×4 Club, Theuns van Zyl said the three leading teams are from the coast, with the next event being held at Dune 2, which is the perfect stomping ground to gain traction for a secure championship lead going forward. “With five events held throughout the year, only four count towards points, so the next Vasbyt 4×4 is going to be a real chase for points amongst the top teams, and those who had bad luck in previous events, will use this to level the playing field,” added Van Zyl. Swakopmund driver Nico with his co-driver Herman Theron driving a Class C bright red short wheel base Land Rover powered by a V8 engine are in the lead with 960 points. Not far behind with 930 points are a father and daughter team Hanjo and Mia Horn driving a heavily modified Class C “Pipe” car, powered by a Lexus V8 engine. Father and son, Nico (snr) and Nico (jnr) Oberholser have secured 890 points in their A Class ‘Pipe’ car powered by an 1800cc VW engine. With an even spread in the various classes, Class A offers standard short wheel base open differentials, while Class B is the standard long wheel base open differentials variety. Class C is the more heavily modified category either short or long wheel base with locked differentials. The brightly painted vehicles are usually propped up on ‘fat takkies’, powerful engines, roll cages with safety protection netting, and raised suspension to mention a few.
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