|Donaldson CC: Dakar Challenge - The South Africans at the forefront|
In the bike category, the winner of the race, Ruan Roberts, was also victorious on the Dakar Challenge. On four wheels, Thomas Rundle and Juan Möhr won their registration on the Dakar thanks to a 6th-place finish in the general standings.
The Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race has already witnessed great talents. Some of them have fulfilled their potential at the very top, such as Giniel De Villiers by winning the Dakar, or Alfie Cox before him, by achieving a podium place on his bike.
The Botswana stage of the "Dakar Challenge" inside the South African "Donaldson Championship" provides the mainly South African competitors who stand out with a fast track to testing their mettle against the leading lights of the discipline.
This will indeed be the case following the selection passed with flying colours by Ruan Roberts, a rider already used to admirable finishes despite his young age, and who seems to have moved up a gear this weekend, by winning for the first time in his career, not just once but twice: the 22-year old student not only beat his rivals for the Dakar Challenge, but was also the outright winner on the race, in which 220 bikes and quads took part!
"It’s a dream I’ve had for a long time that I didn’t think would come true! But now, it’s become reality. I’ll just have to convince my Dad to let me go and take part," said the delighted winner who received his prize from Brett Cummings, his countryman who won the Australian leg of the Dakar Challenge last year, before finishing 43rd on the Dakar.
In light of the resistance and determination shown by Thomas Rundle and his co-pilot Juan Möhr, it will be just as interesting to follow their performance on the Dakar 2014, for which they won their registration by slaloming between the trees of the arid Botswanian bush. More skilful or more cautious (behind the wheel of their Nissan Navara) than the major favourites for the competition, like Lee Roy Poulter (Imperial Toyota) or Colin Matthews (Buggy Century Racing), they managed to complete the 1000-kilometer distance at an honourable pace, leading them to 6th place in the general standings.
Full of determination, despite suffering gearbox problems, they managed to cover the entire last fifty kilometres in third gear only! Such qualities should be useful to them during the journey that they will take next January between Rosario and Valparaiso. "Now we’re ready! It was our sole objective when we arrived here this weekend, and we managed to accomplish it."
2013/06/25 | 11:43 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ASO