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African Heritage: Joint Venture for South African FIA CC-Rally

The South African "FIA Africa Heritage Cross Country" world cup and "Ford Motorite 400" national championship events, to run in conjunction with each other in Limpopo province from August 2 to 5, will benefit from a spirit of co-operation not often found in motorsport circles.

The Koepel Club, organisers of the Ford Motorite 400, and the Four Wheel Drive Club of SA, organisers of the recent Toyota 1000 Desert Race, will liaise in organising an event that sees world championship off road racing come to South Africa for the first time. The Africa Heritage Cross Country is a round of the FIA Cross Country World Cup while the Ford Motorite 400 will be round four of the Absa Off Road Championship.

"The decision to go ahead with the Africa Heritage Cross Country and piggyback with the Ford Motorite 400 came at a stage when organisation of the national event was at an advanced stage," said Koepel chairman and chief organiser Willie Prinsloo. "While we were happy to take on the added burden of organising a world championship event, it meant that our resources were a little stretched.

"We were happy to accept an offer of assistance from Bill Viljoen, ex chairman and off road racing delegate of the Four Wheel Drive Club of SA, and the two clubs are now working together on what we are determined to turn into a showpiece for South African off road racing."

Viljoen said he and the Four Wheel Drive Club committee were aware of the amount of work involved in organising national off road events. "We know from experience what is involved," said Viljoen, "and when we heard Willie’s event had been upgraded at short notice we offered our assistance. We are delighted to be working with Koepel and both clubs have at heart the interests of off road racing in this country."

Piet Swanepoel, president of the Motorsport South Africa Off Road Car Racing Commission, said the co-operation between the two clubs was a further indication of the spirit that was prevalent in South African off road racing.

"It is great to see, with no prompting from the commission, two clubs deciding to work together on an event that is of great importance to the sport in this country," said Swanepoel. "I don’t think there is another branch of motorsport in this country where there is such co-operation between clubs. I have no doubt they will come up with an event that will do us proud."

2006/07/06 I 10:48 CET I Editor:

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