The Ford Performance team will be heading to the Vryburg Endurance race, fifth and penultimate round of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, with one aim – to bring the V8-powered Ford Rangers home on the podium. The Vryburg Endurance, which is one of two long-distance 700km races on the 2015 calendar, is the home event for former champion driver Chris Visser. He and his co-driver, Japie Badenhorst, won this event last year on Visser’s first race of the season – and they are intent on reclaiming some of that glory.
As a result, the Ford pair, along with team-mates Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable in the second Ford Performance Ranger, will be on a charge from the outset on this typical Kalahari route. Woolridge and Huxtable have scored two podiums so far this season, and have shown impressive pace and tenacity on every event. Team principal Neil Woolridge says: ‘The last couple of races have been really challenging. We’ve worked hard to repair and improve the Rangers so we can come back with a strong challenge in Vryburg. We’ve lost the fight for the championship, but there are still two race victories up for grabs and we’re looking forward to a great weekend in the North West.’
According to the race organisers, the Vryburg Endurance promises an exciting route with lots of sand and rocky outcrops, making it a typical Kalahari event. Much of the route is over new ground, thus levelling the playing field for all of the teams. The race commences with qualifying at 10:30 on Friday 11 September from the Vryburg Motor Club and covers a distance of 200km, which decides starting positions for day two.
The action resumes on Saturday with the first of two loops, starting at 07:30 with a 300km section that includes a refuel point 230km into the lap. The remaining 70km takes the crews back to the service park for the compulsory 20-minute stop, followed by the final 200km sprint to the finish line back at the Vryburg Motor Club. Aside from the racing, there promises to be lots of sideline attractions including a carnival atmosphere with the numerous refreshment stalls and entertainment options on offer.