Brazil­ian crews en­ter SA en­durance race

The Witness - Wheels - - RACING - CHAMRAINE FOR­TUNE — Wheels Reporter.

TWO Brazil­ian crews will add a lit­tle Latin Amer­i­can flair to an al­ready tasty feast at the RFS En­durance, the open­ing round of this year’s Don­ald­son Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onship, in Vry­burg in the North West prov­ince on April 1 and 2.

Two highly ex­pe­ri­enced crews from Brazil will com­pete in the new FIA Class in Ford Rangers de­signed and built by Pi­eter­mar­itzburg- based Neil Wool­ridge Mo­tor­sport ( NWM).

The FIA Class al­lows Don­ald­son Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onship teams to run cars to FIA Group T1 spec­i­fi­ca­tions, and will com­pete along­side the cur­rent Class T and Class S cars in the Pro­duc­tion Ve­hi­cle cat­e­gory.

“Apart from al­low­ing South African teams to de­velop ve­hi­cles for the FIA Cross Coun­try World Cup and the Dakar Rally, the FIA Class has also opened up the pos­si­bil­ity of in­ter­na­tional teams com­pet­ing in South Africa,” said Sanora chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Siegfried Rousseau. “It has quickly borne fruit, and we are ex­cited about the prospect of other in­ter­na­tional teams com­pet­ing in South Africa dur­ing the course of the year.”

Brazil­ian brothers Cris­tian and Mar­cos Baum­gart will team up with co- driv­ers Beco An­dreotti and Kle­ber Cincea on the RFS En­durance event. The Cris­tian Baum­gart/ An­dreotti and Mar­cos Baum­gart/ Cincea com­bi­na­tions have a long list of suc­cesses to their names in the Brazil­ian Cross Coun­try Rally Cham­pi­onship and other in­ter­na­tional events.

Both teams are veter­ans of the Rally dos Sertões, which runs over nearly 3 000 kilo­me­tres in Brazil. The Baum­garts fin­ished se­cond and third in last year’s event and both crews have recorded wins on the Paulista Cross Coun­try Rally.

“We are de­lighted to have the Baum­gart brothers com­pet­ing in South Africa in cars we de­signed and built,” said NWM op­er­a­tions man­ager Lance Wool­ridge. “The cars are full FIA spec­i­fi­ca­tion Rangers, and are the ones in which the brothers com­peted in last year’s Sertões Rally.

“The ap­pear­ance of the Brazil­ians is a boost for the Vry­burg event and the Don­ald­son Cross Coun­try Mo­tor Rac­ing Cham­pi­onship, and NWM is happy to be a part of what is an ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ment.”

Two other cars, the fac­tory Toy­ota Ga­zoo Rac­ing SA Toy­ota Hilux en­tries, will also be out in the FIA Class. They will be crewed by reign­ing South African cham­pi­ons Leeroy Poul­ter and Rob Howie, and for­mer cham­pi­ons An­thony Tay­lor and Den­nis Mur­phy.

The RFS En­durance race will be run in con­junc­tion with round two of the North­ern Re­gions Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onship, and the first round of the South African Cross Coun­try Mo­tor­cy­cle and Quad Cham­pi­onship. It is the first time in nearly three decades that the cars and mo­tor­cy­cles will share the same stage, al­though they will race along dif­fer­ent routes.

Three all- fe­male crews

In other cross coun­try news, South African co- driver San­dra Labuscagne will com­pete in the in­ter­na­tional Sealine Cross Coun­try Rally, round three of the FIA Cross Coun­try World Cup, in Qatar from April 17 to 22. The ex­pe­ri­enced Labuscagne was cho­sen to at­tend a train­ing camp or­gan­ised by the FIA Women in Mo­tor­sport Com­mis­sion and Qatar Mo­tor and Mo­tor­cy­cle Fed­er­a­tion in Qatar in Novem­ber last year.

She will part­ner with Span­ish driver Christina Gu­tier­rez- Her­rero in Class T2 on the 1 650 kilo­me­tre event as one of three all- fe­male teams.

The other mem­bers of the team are New Zealan­der Emma Gil­mour and Lisette Bakker, of the Nether­lands, and French­woman Char­lotte Ber­ton and Jor­da­nian Yas­meen El­ma­jed.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

San­dra Labuscagne.

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