The son and father combination, in the Elegant Fuel BAT Venom, started in pole position after winning the 100km qualifying event. But by the end of the first of two 175km loops that made up the race, the Sullwalds had dropped to second place.
They were 43 seconds behind reigning South African champions Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen in the Motorite BAT Venom, with a terrific lap two dice developing between the two crews . That ended when Hutchison and Stassen, back in the lead, picked up a puncture 40km from the finish and handed the advantage to the Sullwalds.
“We were a little lucky, but a win is a win,” said the younger Sullwald of his second national win as a driver after previously having co-driven for his father.
The final podium place went to veteran Gerhard du Plessis, and his 17-year-old son Gerhadus in an ageing Jimco that had its first race in 2000. The elder du Plessis missed last season, and for his son it was a dream introduction to national championship racing.
Behind the podium finishers there was a great result for KwaZulu-Natal crew Arthur Barnes and Anthoy Usher in a BAT Venom. They came home fourth on their national championship debut, and held off the husband and wife team of Marius and Jolinda Fourie (PHB BAT) by 29 seconds.
A second KZN crew, Clint Gibson and Gary Campbell (Dirt Sport Components Porter) were a solid sixth, ahead of Jimmy Zahos and Alan Smith in the Cobalt Racing Stryker. Botswana crew Keith du Toit and newcomer Xander Mare, in the Maxxis White Star BAT, completed the top eight.
The big losers among the premier Class A brigade were former champions Hermann and Wichard Sullwald in the Elegant Fuel Stryker. The pair picked up a puncture on the first lap and a little further down the road car and wheel parted company.
The Class P battle saw John Telford and Andrew Makanete (Calcamite/Rhino Tanks BAT) beat veterans Rob Wark and Ashley Thorn in the K9 Racing Aceco. Wark and Thorn who lost wads of time in the qualifying race before they edged out Frikkie Botha and Koos Visser in a BAT.
Reigning Class P champions John Thomson and Maurice
Zermatten (Zarco Magnum) were a distant fourth ahead of Nic
Goslar and Joe Lima in another Zarco Magnum.