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Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014


Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014


Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014













































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Donaldson CC: Ford´s Neil Woolride - "A very difficult weekend for the team".






It was a tough weekend for Atlas Copco Ford Racing in Malalane for the "Nkomazi 450", round three of the South African "Donaldson Cross Country Championship". Coming into the event as championship leaders and winners of the previous race in KwaZulu-Natal, the team was confident of a good result.

However the combination of a fuel problem during for Gary Bertholdt and Siegfried Rousseau (T4) and the low qualifying starting position for Manfred Schroder and Japie Badenhorst (T2) as a result of Schroder's current seeding put the team at a distinct disadvantage.

Allied to this, the ever-present dust and narrow route through the mountains and sugarcane fields made catching and passing other vehicles virtually impossible throughout the event.

Despite winning last time out, Schroder and Badenhorst were flagged off on Friday's prologue in 29th position, which severely hampered their pace. The intense dust on the qualifying loop saw them back off regularly while chasing the vehicles ahead.

As a result they were simply never able to attack the route at pace. It also contributed towards a puncture that lost the duo a further 6 minutes. Eventually Schroder/Badenhorst qualified 21st overall and 12th in the Production Vehicle category.

Team-mates Bertholdt/Rousseau were plagued by a fuel pressure problem during the prologue that left them stranded on the stage. Their race car was towed back to the service park and repaired, but they lined up 43rd overall for Saturday's race. Race day dawned slightly cooler than Friday, but it did little to improve the conditions for the Ford drivers.

Throughout the two 163 km loops they were constantly battling through the dust of slower vehicles. Furthermore, the mountain and forest sections of the route were exceptionally tight and narrow, eliminating any passing opportunities. The tricky route through the vast sugarcane plantations also presented lots of mud, which didn't help with visibility and kept the drivers on their toes.

Other than a puncture right at the end of the final loop for Bertholdt/Rousseau, both Atlas Copco Ford Rangers crossed the finish line without incident. However the crews were extremely frustrated at not being able to challenge the front runners for pace or position.

After a tenacious drive, Schroder and Badenhorst ultimately finished sixth overall in the Production Vehicle category and fifth in Class T. They are now tied in the championship on 50 points with the winners of the Nkomazi 450, Anthony Taylor/Dennis Murphy (Toyota).

Bertholdt and Rousseau adopted a never-say-die attitude and fought their way from the back of field, eventually coming home 13th overall. They are now 6th in the Production Vehicle championship with 26 points.

Neil Woolridge (Team Manager - Atlas Copco Ford Racing): "This was a very difficult weekend for the team, especially after coming off the high of winning in Mooi River. Aside from the fuel pressure issue with Gary's car, the vehicles and the crews didn't put a foot wrong."

"But it was simply down to the conditions that made it impossible for us to compete with the front-runners. It was very tough out there, but the most important thing is that everyone did a good job to bring the cars home in one piece and score crucial championship points."

Manfred Schroder (T2): "This was a tough race, and we seemed to be on the back foot right from the beginning - but it had nothing to do with our potential pace. Setting off so far back meant that we were stuck in dust for most of the race. At times we had to stop completely because we couldn't see a thing."

"Our proximity device that warns vehicles ahead when we are close enough to pass wasn't working on the qualifying loop which probably hurt us a bit. But even with it working during the race we just couldn't get close enough in the dust or on the narrow sections through the mountains to get ahead."

Gary Bertholdt (T4): "It was disappointing for us to have the fuel issue in qualifying as we were going so well. Starting at the back of the field in the race was exceptionally difficult, and other than vehicles that had broken down or stopped for a puncture it was virtually impossible to pass anyone."

"The car ran perfectly in the race, and I know that we could have been competitive if we started closer to the front. But we did the best we could under the conditions and at least we finished and scored a couple of championship points."

2014/05/20 | 13:41 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/CHAANE











Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:33 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:24 |




Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014 02:40 |




Defender Challenge VIDEO: Impressions of the series by Bowler Rd 4 Wales | 29.08.2014 01:31 |




Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014 01:27 |




Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014 00:47 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:10 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:08 |




Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014 16:33 |




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014 04:57 |




Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014 04:48 |




Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014 02:20 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 01:56 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 00:44 |




Rally dos Sertões: KTM’s Marc Coma hangs on to overall lead in dos Sertoes. | 27.08.2014 23:48 |




Rally dos Sertões: Paulo Gonçalves clinches victory in SS04 - the longest stage. | 27.08.2014 23:32 |




Desafío Inca: German manufacturer battle - X-Raid Mini vs SAM Mercedes CC | 27.08.2014 19:26 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:33 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:29 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 17:55 |




Rally dos Sertões: Both Ford Rangers reached top speeds above 175 km/h. | 27.08.2014 17:07 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Onboard with X-Rally Ford Ranger Baumgart / Cincea | 27.08.2014 16:35 |




Rally dos Sertões: Stagewin for Toyota´s Varela in S3 but Spinelli still leader. | 27.08.2014 16:19 |




Rally dos Sertões: Goncalves - "Hope to ride hard without making mistakes" | 27.08.2014 16:00 |




Rally dos Sertões: Marc Coma wins again in Bikes and remains the leadership. | 27.08.2014 15:35 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 19:14 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 18:57 |




Baja Poland: X-raid with four Mini All4 Racing - chase for World Cup continues. | 26.08.2014 17:21 |




Baja Poland: Overdrive Racing with five Toyota Hilux and Nasser Al Attiyah. | 26.08.2014 16:45 |




Rally dos Sertões: Mitsubishi´s Spinelli / Haddad the new leader in the cars. | 26.08.2014 05:17 |




Rally dos Sertões: Gonçalves wins SS2 in Bikes but Coma still overall leader. | 26.08.2014 05:02 |




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Nice impressions from the first days in Brazil (79) | 26.08.2014 04:53 |




Baja Poland VIDEO: Official trailer of the Baja Poland FIA CC World Cup 2014 | 26.08.2014 04:32 |




Donaldson CC: Test of character for the teams at South African Vryburg 450 | 26.08.2014 03:49 |




Rallyraid: Kamaz Master legend Ilgizar Mardeev tragically died in an accident. | 26.08.2014 03:09 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 02:30 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 01:59 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Driving onboard with Overdrive Toyota Hilux of Verala | 26.08.2014 01:46 |




Rally dos Sertões: Honda´s Paulo Goncalves wins second stage in the bikes. | 26.08.2014 01:28 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment video of SS01 Sunday (crash) | 26.08.2014 00:56 |




















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