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This is the single-news section of the news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

African Heritage: Defiant attitude from South African FIA Rally.

Even with only two international entries, the Africa Heritage Cross Country in Limpopo Province from August 2 to 5 will go ahead. This is the defiant attitude adopted by race franchise holder Ms Charmaine Fortune and the Motorsport South Africa Off Road Car Racing Commission over the running of what is a round of the FIA Cross Country World Cup. It is the first time that South Africa has hosted a world championship off road event, with the African Heritage Cross Country running in conjunction with the national championship Ford Motorite 400.

"Behind the scenes it has been a nightmare since we were drafted onto the FIA calendar," said Fortune. "The African Heritage Cross Country has had to overcome a number of obstacles, not the least of which is a lack of international entries.

"On a number of occasions I have been ready to throw in the towel, but a stubborn streak has led to the adoption of a defiant attitude. It is also in the best interests of South Africa and the future relationship between the FIA, Motorsport South Africa and the MSA Off Road Car Racing Commission that a decision to go ahead with the event was finally taken."

Ms Fortune added the final decision to go ahead with the event was taken in conjunction with the MSA Off Road Car Racing Commission. Commission President Piet Swanepoel, along with the event organisers, the Koepel Club and the Four Wheel Drive Club of South Africa, had also put in huge amounts of work.

"Piet has been a stalwart and Willie Prinsloo, chairman of the Koepel Club, has cheerfully gone out of his way to perform at short notice the near impossible," Fortune said. "It was a joint decision to go ahead with the event, and Ford and Motorite also deserve our thanks for allowing us to piggyback on their event."

"Regional and national off road competitors also have the opportunity to enter the Africa Heritage Cross Country and the Ford Motorite 400," Swanepoel said. "Although SA competitors will not score points towards the World Cup, international trophies will be awarded to the first three SA finishers in the Special Vehicle and Production Vehicle categories."

Swanepoel added SA entrants would also not jeopardise losing national championship points. The two events will be scored separately and will be run as two separate events. "Everyone connected with the organisation of the Africa Heritage Cross Country is determined at make a success of the event," Swanepoel said. "Our future dealings with the FIA dictate that this is the case."

2006/07/28 I 12:14 CET I Editor:

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