|ABSA 2012: Solid Performance for Team Ford Racing Visser Badenhorst fourth|
The Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race tested man and machine on the fourth round of the South African "ABSA Off-Road Championship". Team Ford Racing enjoyed a consistent performance with Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst finishing in fourth place in their Class SP Ford Ranger while Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable finished in seventh place in the sister car.
Visser and Badenhorst maintained a level head throughout the event, avoiding any major incidents. The dusty conditions proved problematic, hampering visibility and preventing overtaking opportunities.
"In the prologue we got stuck behind a damaged vehicle for about 10km, this really cost us in the race where starting order proved key to a good result," explained Visser. "The dust was the worst I have ever experienced making overtaking extremely challenging, that said the vehicle ran perfectly throughout the event and we had an immensely enjoyable time."
Lance Woolridge, who lays claim to being the youngest driver ever to finish the event, once again demonstrated his maturity by finishing in a well-deserved seventh position. Woolridge and navigator Huxtable survived two punctures over the 1000km marathon event, but avoided any other difficulties on an event notorious for its high-rate of attrition.
Both Woolridge and Huxtable relished the event with Huxtable later stating it was his most enjoyable race to date.
"We thoroughly enjoyed this event," added Lance. "We made up two minutes in the first 20km but as soon as we caught the vehicle ahead we had to back off as the dust was too thick. It required extreme concentration but everyone was in the same boat and the most important thing was to take it easy and stay out of trouble."
As the season´s only cross-border event the Desert Race requires an immense effort from teams to ensure a smooth and trouble free weekend.
Team Manager Neil Woolridge was extremely pleased with the team´s efforts throughout the weekend. "We brought home two vehicles that never failed throughout the long and treacherous route," he reflected.
"In hindsight we were perhaps too conservative in our approach to Friday´s prologue, it´s a fine balance between going for a strong result and pushing too hard. Nevertheless we can be proud of achievements this weekend, the team ran like clockwork and we scored some solid championship points."
The next round of the Absa Off Road Championship, the Sun City 400, takes place on the weekend of the 27th and 28th July.
2012/06/25 | 16:57 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/STEENEKAMP