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ABSA South African Championship 2007 Special-Newssection

This is the single-news section of the special of the ABSA South African Offroad Championship series 2007. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

African Heritage: X-Raid BMW enter African Heritage FIA Rally

The X-Raid BMW team is the first international entry for the African Heritage Cross Country event in the Eastern Cape from July 26 to 30. The event is round two of the FIA Cross Country World Cup and round five of the Absa Off Road Championship. More than 70 international and South African entries are expected for a race that will take in some awesome terrain in the Amatola Mountains.

The X-Raid BMW team, running a BMW X3 CC powered by a three litre diesel motor, is headed up by Brazilian lawyer and businessman Paulo Nobre. He will be joined in South Africa by Portuguese co-driver Filipe Palmeiro, with the pairing finishing 37th overall in this year’s Dakar rally.

The 39-year-old Nobre has been competing in South American and international events since 2001. He won the Mitsubishi Cup in 2003 and won the N2 category in the South American Rally Championship in 2005. Nobre has been a regular competitor in the FIA Cross Country World Cup. Last year he won the diesel category on the Pharaons Rally in Egypt and he brings to South Africa a wealth of experience.

Palmeiro has been competing since 2000 and has sat alongside top Portuguese drivers like Francisco Esperto, Paulo Marques, Pedro Gameiro and Heldfer Oliviera. He is a former Portuguese T2 champion and a winner of the Challenge Nissan Spain.

The opening leg of the World Cup was run in Portugal earlier this year, and the South African round will be followed by events in Argentina, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. The three best results count towards the championship.

"We have other international entries in the pipeline, but as a new event on the calendar we are at a disadvantage," said African Heritage Cross Country rights holder Charmaine Fortune. "It is also unfortunate that some teams have chosen to use the Spanish Baja from July 20 to 22 as a test bed for the Dakar Rally."

Documentation and scrutineering for the African Heritage Cross Country / Amathole 500 will take place at the Garden Court in East London on July 26 and on the morning of July 27. The prologue for the Amathole 500 and Stage 1 of the African Heritage Cross Country will start at 12h00 in Bisho and will finish at the Fish River Sun.

The Amathole 500, round five of the Absa Off Road Championship and Stage 2 of the African Heritage Cross Country will be run over a 500 kilometre circular route in the Amatola Mountains on Saturday, July 28. Both races will start and finish at the Fish River Sun. Stage 3 of the World Cup race, with the start and finish at the Fish River Sun, will be run on Sunday, July 29 with the Stage 2 route run in reverse. Stage 4 of the African Heritage Cross Country will start at the Fish River Sun and will finish in Bisho.

South African competitors will be eligible to compete on an invitation basis in the African Heritage Cross Country race but will run at the back of the field. No championship points will be at stake for SA entries, but trophies will be awarded.

2007/07/12 | 11:06 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Charmaine Fortune

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