SELEBI PHIKWE: Atlas Copco Toyota’s Chris Vissor roared to a victory that ended the supremacy of Gazoo Racing Team in the Toyota 1000 Kilometre race in a virgin Selebi Phikwe terrain.
The victory was a second for Vissor following his 2011 TDR win behind a Ford TDCi.
Vissor and his navigator, Phillip Harselman started the race on pole position before they lost the lead to Henk Lategen and Brett Cummings at the end of the first heat on day one.
They started the second heat on Sunday five minutes behind the Gazoo team vehicle. In fact, they were sandwiched by the Gazoo team with Shameer Variawa and Juan Mohr behind on third.
The race played into Atlas Copco Toyota’s hand when Lategen experienced a breakdown mid second heat.
The previous day the favourite and defending champion, Geniel de Villiers fell out of contention when his vehicle broke down and he finished 24th on the day.
Since they went ahead they, took the stranglehold of the lead and the second time winner said their strategy was to run a clean race and result would come.
He said the race was very tight and demanding,
“We drove carefully; we didn’t think of beating anyone but to run a clean race. Luckily, we didn’t have any problems the entire race, we didn’t get out of the car. My navigator was unbelievable the entire race,” the winner said.
Variana and Mohr held onto a second position finish. Defending class T champions Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable of Ford Castrol Cross Country team secured a consecutive podium spot after finishing second last year.
Elf Renault DE of Johan Van Staden and Mike Lawrenson and Ford Castrol Cross Country of Gareth Woolridge and Boyd Dreyer completed the top five respectively.
The race has proved to be one of the best events in the country’s entertainment calendar after it attracted hordes of spectators from different pockets of the country to liven up the dull former copper and nickel town.