Fastest gravel rac­ers

Lo­cal rac­ers pre­pare for Dundee as Hyundai still cel­e­brate after Rally Ar­gentina

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - AL­WYN VILJOEN

IN one of the most elec­tri­fy­ing World Rally Cham­pi­onship fi­nales in mem­ory, Hyundai Mo­tor­sport’s Thierry Neuville and co­driver Ni­co­las Gil­soul claimed a stun­ning vic­tory by only 0,7 sec­ond in Rally Ar­gentina — the fifth round of the 2017 FIA WRC.

It is the team’s sec­ond win in a row after Tour de Corse, and their fifth WRC vic­tory in to­tal.

The two WRC wins in a row put Hyundai Mo­tor­sport sec­ond in the man­u­fac­tur­ers’ cham­pi­onship and will make deal­ers happy as the old adage, “win on Sun­day, sell on Monday” is still the best way to con­vince buy­ers of a brand’s abil­i­ties.

The next leg of the WRC is in Por­tu­gal on May 18 to 21, with five con­sec­u­tive gravel events that will make it as riv­et­ing to watch on Red Bull TV as the Rally Ar­gentina re­runs.

Bat­tle­fields 400

A lot of gravel also awaits lo­cal sports pre­sen­ter and ra­dio per­son­al­ity Tony Ndoro, who joins Ter­ence Marsh in the hot-seat of the Red-Lined Mo­tor­sport team in the Bat­tle­fields 400, round two of the South African Cross Coun­try Se­ries (SACCS) on May 12 and 13.

The team will be field­ing three new Nis­san Navaras built un­der the guid­ance of Graeme Thorn­ton at the Red-Lined Mo­tor­sport work­shop in the Kyalami Busi­ness Park. Kwese tele­vi­sion sports chan­nel will also be shoot­ing a doc­u­men­tary insert of Ndoro’s ex­pe­ri­ence as a nav­i­ga­tor.

The Red-Lined team will use the Bat­tle­fields 400, based in Dundee, as a “work­ing test” session be­fore Marsh and team-mate Ri­aan Greyling tackle the Tak­li­makan Rally China from June 10 to 24. Also known as the “Ori­en­tal Dakar”, the Rally China covers a route of 6 500 km in the Tak­li­makan Desert and takes place over 13 days.

In KZN next week­end, the race head­quar­ters and the des­ig­nated ser­vice park (DSP) for the KwaZulu-Natal event will be at the Bat­tle­field Coun­try Lodge and Sports Re­sort on the out­skirts of Dundee. Public en­trance to these ar­eas and spec­ta­tor points along the route is free of charge.

The week­end will of­fer en­thu­si­asts a full house of cross coun­try rac­ing, as it in­cludes an in­vi­ta­tion race for KZN bike and quad rid­ers.

En­thu­si­asts can also fol­low the race on the Ral­lySafe app for Ap­ple and An­droid de­vices.

The app can be down­loaded free of charge and plots the po­si­tion of the cars dur­ing the race via maps and tim­ing in­for­ma­tion.

PHOTO: QUICKPIC

Thierry Neuville and co-driver Ni­co­las Gil­soul on their way to claim a 0,7-sec­ond win in the fen­der-rip­ping Rally Ar­gentina.

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