|Donaldson CC: North West drivers will relish "Vryburg 400" Challenge|
A bunch of drivers who cut their racing teeth in North West Province will be licking their lips when the "Vryburg 400" sees cross country racing return to the area for round six of the South African "Donaldson Cross Country Championship" on September 6 and 7.
The North West has down the years produced some of the most successful drivers in South African cross country racing. Among their numbers are multiple former South African champion Apie Reyneke who won the Toyota Desert Race six times, 1988 Desert Race winner Andre Kock – who is assistant route director for the Vryburg 400 - and Chris Visser who won the Roof of Africa in 1975.
The Toyota Desert Race was based in Vryburg between 1981 and 1990 with the race moving to Botswana in 1991. The Vryburg 400 is being organised by the South African National Off Road Racing Association (SANORA) and the Vryburg Motor Club.
The current crop of North West drivers who were driving bakkies on farm roads and in the bush as soon as they could reach the pedals includes brothers Chris and Jannie Visser, Malcolm Kock and Hugo de Bruyn (Micaren Exel Toyota Hilux) who are all in the top 10 in this year’s Production Vehicle championship.
Reigning Class E champion Dirk Putter (Ford Ranger) is the son of former top co-driver Piet Putter and is currently on track to win back to back titles, while the younger generation is represented by the likes of Jason Venter and Vincent van Alleman who currently lead Class D in the Trysome Toyota Hilux.
The Visser brothers, the sons of the 1975 Roof winner and brought up in the Barberspan area, are both former South African champions. Chris junior is currently lying second in this year’s Production Vehicle and premier SP Class title races, and brother Jannie is one place behind de Bruyn in ninth.
Chris, now a factory driver for Ford Racing, and regular co-driver Japie Badenhorst will also compete in next year’s Dakar Rally in South America in a South African built Ford Ranger.
Kock grew up in the Vryburg area and was a youngster in short pants when father Andre won the Desert Race with Koos Coetzee in a Toyota Land Cruiser. After a solid start to the season Kock and co-driver Johan Burger, in the Kock and Sons Toyota Hilux, were non finishers on the recent Sun City 400 and have slipped to sixth place in the Production Vehicle championship.
Race headquarters and the designated service park for the Vryburg 400 will be based at the Vryburg Motor Club. Public entry to these areas as well as spectator points along the route is free of charge. Qualifying to determine race grid positions will start at 12:00 on September 6 and the race at 8.30am on September 7.
2013/08/09 | 21:15 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/OWL