September 12, 2016

Deon Gove takes SA National Championship title

Deon Gove takes SA National Championship title

Midrand Offroad RC club in Johannesburg recently played host to the second round of the South African 1/8th Off-road National Championship. With the 2016 season being a 2-rounds affair and both counting towards the overall result the pressure was on for the top drivers. Friday saw the start of open practice before qualifying would start on Saturday. In Electric Buggy the championship would more than likely be contested by the top 4 drivers with Deon Gove leading over Aksay Patel due to a tie break at the first round at APN in Durban. Unfortunately Thomas Schmuck had to withdraw his entry and would not be able to defend his 2015 title at the final event. Quintis Van der Merwe would have an outside chance to take the overall championship as two new comers to E-Buggy would join for the final round. Both Dean Steenmans and Tiaan Oelofse, top nitro contenders, could split the tight field and rearrange the final points standing.

Saturday morning kicked off in even better Summer weather with the first of four qualifiers and Deon taking the win after Dean fell out from the lead with electrical problems and this was the end of the event for him. The next round saw Tiaan get a clean run and take the win from Deon and Aksay. In the third qualifier Deon came out on top and was able to secure his second TQ of the championship.

Qualifying results:
1. Deon Gove
2. Tiaan Oelofse
3. Aksay Patel
4. Quintis Van der Merwe
5. Jaco Taljaard
6. Johann Van Zyl
7. Neville Menezes
8. Dean Steermans
9. Etienne Scheepers

Sunday morning arrived and once again showed true South African fine weather with no wind and prefect conditions for the competitors to fight it out for the overall result. Race one of three would be taken by Tiaan as Deon seemed to be playing the long championship game and securing points over his closest title contenders. However with just two minutes left Deon would suffer a mechanical fault causing a loss of 25 seconds with a jammed wheel however due to quick support this would be resolved and he would hold onto second from Quintis. The second round saw Deon let Tiaan go past early on and the same game plan seemed to be in effect for the championship. Once again Deon would suffer late in the race with the loss of power due to a sensor cable failure. This would leave the final and championship still open coming down to the final race as Aksay took second in the race. The final leg decider saw a close race early on with Tiaan and Deon however Tiaan traction rolled out and Deon leading the way from Aksay close behind. Deon was able to put in a consistent high pace that Aksay could not maintain through the 10-minute final and this would give Deon second overall for the event and wrap up the South African title for 2016 from Aksay Patel and Qunitis Van der Merwe.

Source: Xray []


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