Brazilian crews enter SA endurance race
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.