North West Province – Johan and Werner Horn have won round five of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, Force Fuel 450, held at Sun City last Saturday. The Horns were racing for Melalane Toyota racing team in the Toyota Hilux.
The 2015 Dakar Rally qualifiers, Gary Bertholdt and Siegfried Rousseau, scored a convincing second place, putting the Atlas Copco Ford Racing team on the podium. The two were just four minutes behind the winners.
Christiaan du Ploy and Henk Janse van Vuuren of the RFS Motorsport Ford in the Ford Ranger scooped third place while Team Castrol Toyota, Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie in the Toyota Hilux scored fourth place.
It was a tough day in the office for the Imperial Auto and Regent Racing team in Nissan Navaras – Michael Whitehouse and former Springbok rugby captain John Smit, Terence Marsh and media personality Jeannie Dee, Jurgen Schroder and Michael Abramson.
“The terrain was rough and first round a bit difficult,” said John Smit. “Second round was much better and I had fun. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done – though it was not my intention to thrash Jeannie Dee on National Women’s Day.”
It was not easy for Manfred Schroder and Japie Badenhorst (T2) too, as they had to start from 49th place after damaging the rear suspension during Friday’s qualifying.
Dust, dust and more dust defined their Force Fuel 450, as their potential race-winning pace was severely constrained by the long line of slower cars ahead of the Atlas Copco Ford Ranger.
They managed to pass several cars in first part of the loop, but subsequently picked up a puncture that allowed the competitors behind them to reclaim their positions. Ultimately it was a case of hanging in there and aiming for a finish and maximum points for the winners of the Toyota Dealer 450 in Mooi River earlier in the year.