|Donaldson CC: Bertholdt / Rousseau win free entry for the Dakar Rally 2015.|
Atlas Copco Ford Racing crew Gary Bertholdt and Siegfried Rousseau booked a free berth in next year’s Dakar Rally in South America, when they won the "Dakar Challenge" race within a race at the "Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000" Desert Race in South Africa last weekend.
Fourth place on the Toyota 1000 Desert Race saw Bertholdt and Rousseau finish just outside the podium places in the Production vehicle category, but a win on the Dakar Challenge, run in conjunction with the main event, provided for plenty of compensation. The pair finished well clear of Hennie de Klerk / Johann Smalberger (RFS/Treasury One BMW X3) with Terence Marsh and Springbok rugby legend Stefan Terblanche the only other finishers in the Regent Racing Nissan Navara.
Bertholdt and Rousseau were in contention in the Dakar Challenge throughout the three days on the race. They won the qualifying race and were second to Special Vehicle crew Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen (Motorite BAT) after the first racing section on Saturday.
Bertholdt and Rousseau, however, profited hugely when the racing gods played a cruel trick on Hutchison and Stassen. The pair were leading the Special vehicle category until two kilometres from the flying finish when the Motorite BAT caught fire.
The final 450 kilometer racing section two took a heavy toll of both Production and Special Vehicle challengers who one by one fell by the wayside.
2014/07/03 | 17:17 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/FORTUNE