The Regent Racing team will provide for an additional international flavour in the Production Vehicle category in this year’s Donaldson Cross Country Championship. An experienced Portuguese team in driver Rómulo Branco and co-driver João Serôdio will join a six-car Regent Racing team in this year’s championship, which opens with the RFS Endurance in Harrismith on March 27 and 28. Regent Racing will run three cars in the premier Class T for vehicles above four litres with independent rear suspension, and three cars in Class S for vehicles up to four litres with solid axle rear suspension.
The Regent Racing Nissan Navara squad, under team principal Terence Marsh, will also be bolstered this season by Johan Van Staden and Mike Lawrenson who in recent seasons have raced under the Atlas Copco banner. Van Staden/Lawrenson will link up in Class T with German pair Jürgen and Daniel Schroder, and former South African champion Marsh who will be accompanied by sports/entertainment personalities competing in the popular Imperial Auto Celebrity Challenge. Branco and Serôdio will compete in Class S alongside Luke Botha and highly experienced cross country and rally co-driver Andre Vermeulen, and Sean Reitz and Gerhard Schutte.
The Portuguese team have been together since 2009 and have two class wins to their credit in the FIA Cross Country World Cup, and bring to the Regent Racing stable a wealth of international experience. Marsh said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Rómulo and João and Johan and Mike to the Regent Racing fold. Luke and Andre are also relative newcomers to the team, and we have put together a formidable squad that has the potential to mount some stern championship challenges in both Class T and Class S. Johan and Mike and the Schröders will also be full of confidence after impressive performances on this year’s Dakar Rally in South America, and from our point of view there is plenty of room for optimism as we go into what is going to be another highly competitive Donaldson championship.’ The team’s preparations for the season stepped up a notch recently with a Dakar training camp in the sand dunes of Namibia. Marsh said it once again provided the team with some much needed seat time in challenging terrain as they geared up for the 2016 Dakar.
The RFS Endurance will be based at the La La Nathi resort on the outskirts of Harrismith with the event made up of a 196 kilometre qualifying race on March 27, and two laps of 251 kilometres the following day. The qualifying race will start at 10:30 and the race at 07.30. Public entrance to race headquarters, the start/finish and designated service point at La La Nathi is free of charge.
The event is spectator friendly and there is also no entry fee to public viewing points along the route. Spectator guides will be available at race headquarters with catering supplied by local schools.