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ABSA 2012: Rugby-star Terblanche to make his off road racing appearance.



Former Springbok and Sharks utility back Stefan Terblanche will be the next celebrity sports star to get a taste of national off road racing in the South African "Absa Off Road Championship".

Terblanche will join Archie Rutherford in the SA Warranties Nissan Navara for round six of the Absa series, the 4x4 Mega World 400 at Carnival City, on August 31 and September 1. The cabin of the Nissan Navara will be a far cry from Kings Park, Twickenham or Lansdowne Road with Terblanche following the example set by former Protea ‘Vinnige Fanie’ de Villiers who sat alongside Rutherford on the recent Sun City 400.

The versatile Terblanche played 37 Test matches for South Africa scoring 19 tries including a South African test record of four tries on debut against Ireland at Bloemfontein in 1998, which he later bettered by scoring a then record five tries against Italy in June 1999. He represented South Africa at the World Cup in 1999 and 2003 and is now chief executive officer of SA Rugby Legends.

The SA Warranties Nissan runs under the Regent Racing umbrella and will be used to give sports personalities an insight into off road racing. The exercise is part of a strategy to expose off road racing to star personalities from other sports categories.

“Fanie was given a great reception at Sun City and Stefan is going to be just as popular with other competitors and off road enthusiasts,” said Regent Racing team principal Terence Marsh. “Stefan has been a great servant of South African rugby for more than a decade, and is one of the most popular players of his era.

“It is important that we spread the off road message to a wide audience, and in this respect giving stars like de Villiers and Terblanche a taste of the off road culture is a step forward.”

Like de Villiers before him, Terblanche won’t be going into the race cold. He will be given seat time alongside Rutherford in test sessions, and will be shown the finer points of off road navigation by regular Regent Racing co-drivers George Smalberger and Matthew Carlson.

The 4x4 Mega World 400 will also see the new Regent Racing Nissan Navara, powered by a V8 engine, make its debut in the hands of Marsh and Smalberger. The car made an appearance at the Sun City 400 but did not turn a wheel in anger.

“Since Sun City we have had time to go through concerted test sessions, and we are very pleased with the results,” said Marsh. “It is a completely different concept to the old car, and in testing has shown enormous potential.”

Mike Whitehouse and Carlson will complete the Regent Racing line-up in a second Nissan Navara running a V6 engine. Regent Racing is waiting to take delivery of a second V8 powered Nissan Navara earmarked for Whitehouse and Carlson.

Race headquarters, the start finish and the designated service park for the 4x4 Mega World 400 will all be located at Carnival City with public entry to these areas and spectator points along the route free of charge. The Donaldson Prologue on August 31 to determine race grid positions will start at 12:30 and the race on September 1 at 08:30.

2012/08/25 | 10:11 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/FORTUNE











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