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ABSA 2009: Legend Alfie Cox back in Action in South Africa.

Off road legend Alfie Cox will be back in action in the Production Vehicle category at the Highveld 400, round six of the South African Absa Off Road Championship at Carnival City on August 28 and 29, with a bigger picture in mind. Cox, who has won more national championships on two and four wheels than any other South African, and German businessman Jurgen Schroder will share a PS Laser Nissan Navara in the premier SP Class on the Highveld 400. The pair will also compete on the Toyota Dealer 400, using both races as Dakar Rally shakedowns for the new Nissan Navara built by Glynn Hall and his team at Nissan Motorsport’s headquarters in Midrand.

The Cox/Schroder partnership first started six years ago when the German attended a KTM Adventure Tour run by Cox. The two became firm friends with Schroder fulfilling a dream when he and Cox competed in last year’s Dakar Rally in Argentina. "Jurgen bought a package from the SMG team and we raced a buggy last year," said Cox. "We had endless technical problems and one night, while sitting around a bonfire waiting for our support truck to arrive, Jurgen said we had to do the race again in 2010 - but properly this time."

Cox, who won two SA championships in Nissans, wasted no time selling Schroder the merits of a Hall-built Nissan Navara. This was helped by fourth place on the Dakar for Ivar Tollefsen and Quin Evans, regulars in the Absa Off Road Championship, and fifth place for a Polish team in Nissan Navaras built in Midrand.

"After the Dakar successes it was not difficult to sell Jurgen on the idea," said Cox with a smile. "He now owns a Dakar Rally spec Nissan Navara and we are looking forward to the Highveld 400 and the Toyota Dealer 400. "We will be using both events to fine tune the vehicle and iron out any teething problems. With Glynn’s superb track record we don’t expect any major hiccups, and I am very lucky to have been given an amazing opportunity by Jurgen to again compete on the Dakar Rally."

Schroder’s only previous navigating experience was on last year’s Dakar. For the Highveld 400 and Toyota events former South African champions Francois Jordaan and Hennie ter Stege will help familiarise the German with how to use the South African road book.

"Francois and Hennie are just about the best in the business, and Jurgen could not hope for better mentors," said Cox. "I may be a little rusty after a long lay-off but you never lose the competitive urge and, apart from using the two races as test sessions, hopefully Jurgen and I can come up with a pair of good results."

2009/08/21 | 15:47 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Charmaine Fortune

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