document : Going for gold on final round of 2014 Donaldson Cross Country Championship

Going for gold on final round of 2014 Donaldson Cross Country Championship
information supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Media) 22 November 2014

359016 Going for gold on final round of 2014 Donaldson Cross Country Championship

• Action-packed season finale on Gauteng's West Rand
• Ford Racing crews out to win second event in a row and third of the year

Atlas Copco Ford Racing is aiming for gold on the final round of the 2014 Donaldson Cross Country Championship, the Atlas Copco Gold 450 on Gauteng's West Rand from 28 to 29 November.

The race is guaranteed to provide an action-packed finale to the 2014 season, with lots still to play for in the final championship standings. The Ford Racing squad will be on maximum attack from the start in an effort to secure the win for the team's title sponsor, Atlas Copco, on its own event.

Gary Bertholdt and Siegfried Rousseau (T4) claimed a podium result in last year's race, and are intent on producing a strong showing this time round in the mighty V8-powered Ford Ranger. It will also give them a chance to improve their championship positions, with third place overall in the Production Vehicle category still within their sights.

Team-mates Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst (T2) are itching to get back into the fray after winning the last race, the Vryburg 450, in September. This was Visser's first race of the year after recovering from injury, and they lost out on another shot at glory after the Free State event scheduled for October was cancelled.

Badenhorst is currently third in the co-driver's championship, and a strong result could move him up in the final rankings.
"The team is really looking forward to this race, as it's the last event of the year and comes after our win in Vryburg," says Neil Woolridge, team manager for Atlas Copco Ford Racing. "With the championship out of reach we will be going for the race victory.

"It's not an easy route through this mining region, as there are lots of rocks. It has also rained during the previous couple of years, and it's likely to rain again this year which will make the route even more challenging. But we expect it to be a good event for the team, particularly as it is well supported by the spectators."

According to the organisers, the route through Gauteng's gold-mining belt is similar to last year, but run in a clockwise direction for a change. The event is based at the Kloof Country Club in Glenharvie, which serves as the race headquarters, the start/finish and designated service park.

Its close proximity to Johannesburg and the surrounding West Rand towns makes it an easily accessible and spectator-friendly outing for Gauteng's racing enthusiasts.

The 100 km qualifying loop on Friday will determine starting positions. It takes the crews north east to Hillshaven, through the Elandsfontein farm and on to South Deep, Jagtfontein and Kalbasfontein.

Saturday's adrenaline-fuelled race day comprises two 160 km loops that include the entire qualifying section, but heads further south to Doringkloof, as well as the Telkom koppies and Wagterskop on the homeward stretch.

The first part of the route features open veld with twisty sections and small river crossings, while the final section features rocky climbs, serious wash-aways and dongas that will give the crews and vehicles a tough technical challenge.

There are numerous road crossings along the route, which runs close to main arterials for excellent viewing at the designated spectator points.

Qualifying sets off at 11:30 on Friday 28 November, and the main race begins at 08:30 on Saturday.

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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