document : Atlas Copco Ford Racing focuses on final round of Cross Country Championship

Atlas Copco Ford Racing focuses on final round of Cross Country Championship
information supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Media) 22 October 2014

358826 Atlas Copco Ford Racing focuses on final round of Cross Country Championship

• Cancellation of Free State 450 in Thaba Nchu drops 2014 championship to 7 races
• Ford Racing focus shifts to final event of the year in Gauteng on 28-29 November

PIETERMARITZBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, 22 October 2014 - The off-road racing fraternity should have been setting off for the Free State this week for the seventh and penultimate round of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, the Thaba Nchu 450. However, the last-minute cancellation of this event has left an unfortunate gap in the calendar, which is now reduced to seven rounds

According to Richard Schilling, CEO of SANORA which runs the championship, the organisers encountered problems with the landowners in the region while finalising the race route.

"Under the circumstances and in view of time restraints, SANORA felt there was no other alternative but to cancel the race," Schilling said. "While we are disappointed, we fully respect and understand the position of landowners. SANORA has always been mindful and sensitive towards the requirements of landowners, and we have the utmost respect for our duty to protect private property and the local community."

The cancellation of the Free State race is particularly disappointing for the Atlas Copco Ford Racing team after having won the previous race in Vryburg.

"We were really looking forward to the Thaba Nchu race as the team was on a high after winning last time out, especially with Chris Visser returning to the team for the first time since January and taking the victory in the process," states Neil Woolridge, Team Manager of Atlas Copco Ford Racing.

"Last year we also had a strong showing in the Free State, taking second and third places in the Production Vehicle category, so we were looking forward to continuing this momentum into the final two rounds. Fortunately we had already decided to forego the championship battle and rather focus on race wins with Chris back in the squad.

"As much as it is disappointing to drop this event, we fully appreciate how increasingly difficult it is for the organisers to secure suitable race routes on private land, as we also saw on the Sun City 450," Woolridge says.

The team will now focus on the final race of the season, the Atlas Copco Gold 450 which takes place in Westonaria, Gauteng on 28 and 29 November.

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Ford Racing and Neil Woolridge Motorsport are proud to be associated with the following sponsors and partners for the 2014 Donaldson SA Cross Country Championship: Atlas Copco, DeWalt, Motul, Mastercraft, Donaldson Filtration Systems, OMP, Time Freight, Willowton Logistics, Ironman 4x4 and Sign Solutions.

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