document : Atlas Copco Ford Racing Team dominate Dakar Challenge

Atlas Copco Ford Racing Team dominate Dakar Challenge
information supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Media) 28 June 2014


Free entry to Dakar Rally 2015 up for grabs

Jwaneng, Botswana - The factory Atlas Copco Ford Racing crew of Gary Bertholdt and Siegfried Rousseau, took an early grip yesterday on a race within a race that could win them a free entry to next year’s Dakar Rally in South America.

Berthold and Rousseau, in the Atlas Copco Ford Ranger, finished more than four minutes clear of Mike Whitehouse and Matthew Carlson in the Regent Racing Nissan Navara in the 100 kilometre qualifying race for the Dakar Challenge. Deon Venter and Ian Palmer (4x4 Mega World were third, a further 41 seconds in arrears with the Dakar Challenge run in conjunction with the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race.

The prize for the winners a free entry, the richest prize in South African motorsport, to next year’s Dakar Rally. While Bertholdt and Rousseau went into the first racing section today with a sizeable advantage there is a tight situation. Only 20 seconds separate the next three cars with Venter/Palmer having to fend off the Argazzi brothers, Edoardo and Riccardo, from the DRC, Colin Matthews/Rodney Burke (Century Racing CR3) in the first of the Special Vehicle category entries, and reigning Special Vehicle champions Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen in the Motorite BAT Viper.

Behind Hutchison/Stassen there is another tight battle with just over a minute separating three Production Vehicle crews in Hennie de Klerk/Johann Smalberger (RFS/Treasury One BMW X3), Terence Marsh/Stefan Terblanche (Regent Racing Nissan Navara) and Jason Venter and Vince van Alleman (4x4 Mega World Toyota Hilux).

The next three places are filled by Special Vehicle crews Derick du Toit/Andrew Makenete (CRC BAT), Keith du Toit/Xander Mare (White Star BAT) and John Thomson and Maurice Zermatten in a Zarco. There is an 11 minutes gap between the leaders and Thomson/Zermatten, but anything could happen over the next two days.

Atlas Copco Ford Racing Team dominate Dakar Challenge.pdf (361kB)

DAKAR Challenge - Qualifying Revised.pdf (119kB)

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