Two dozen made- in- SA ve­hi­cles raced Dakar

The Witness - Wheels - - OFFROAD - CHARMAIN FOR­TUNE — sacross­coun­tryrac­ing.co.za

THE Don­ald­son Cross Coun­try Mo­tor Rac­ing Cham­pi­onship was again the launch pad for an im­pres­sive South African suc­cess rate at this year’s Dakar Rally, the tough­est mo­tor­sport event in the world.

South African de­signed and built ve­hi­cles ac­counted for 60% of the first 40 fin­ish­ers in the car cat­e­gory.

Among the 24 South African built cars to make it to the fin­ish were 17 Toy­ota Hilux mod­els, two Ford Rangers, two Cen­tury Rac­ing CR5 en­tries, two Re­nault Dusters and a Red- Lined Mo­tor­sport Nis­san Navara.

In­ter­na­tional teams also crewed two Ford Rangers built in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg by Neil Wool­ridge Mo­tor­sport with Spa­niards Xavier Pons and Ri­cardo Tor­laschi fin­ish­ing 29th, and Chileans Daniel Mas Valdes and Juan Pablo La­trach Vi­na­gre 34th.

The two Fords were run by South African Scott Abra­hams’ South Rac­ing com­pany, based in Ger­many, which also pro­vided lo­gis­tics for Red- Lined Mo­tor­sport.

The 17 Toy­ota Hilux fin­ish­ers on the Dakar Rally were ei­ther built by Toy­ota Mo­tor­sport team prin­ci­pal Glyn Hall and his team of pro­fes­sion­als at the Hall­speed fa­cil­ity in Midrand, or as­sem­bled over­seas by Over­drive and other teams us­ing de­signs and com­po­nents sup­plied by Hall­speed. Two Toy­ota Ga­zoo Rac­ing SA en­tries built in Midrand fin­ished in the top 10 and an­other five lo­cally built or sourced cars fin­ished in the top 20.

Two Cen­tury Rac­ing CR5 en­tries were de­signed and built at the Cen­tury Rac­ing work­shop in Midrand, with Matthews and Burke win­ners of last year’s Dakar Chal­lenge which formed part of the Don­ald­son cham­pi­onship.

Two Re­nault Dusters built by Thomp­son Rac­ing at Kyalami fin­ished 18th and 19th.

Red- Lined Mo­tor­sport is also based in Kyalami with South Africans Sean Reitz and Ri­aan Greyling, and the Ger­man father/ son pair­ing of Jur­gen and Daniel Schröder out in a pair of Nis­san Navaras.

More than 100 South African en­gi­neers, tech­ni­cians and ser­vice crew helped keep the South African and other teams run­ning through­out an event.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Cen­ruty Rac­ing mehan­ics work­ing hard to re­place the rac­ing clutch in min­utes.

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