PRETORIA, South Africa— Team Ford Racing enjoyed yet another victory in the new Ford Ranger, this time at the second round of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship. Former South African champions Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst made it two victories in two races for Ford after dominating the Nkomazi 400 from early on in the race.
Visser and Badenhorst put in a solid performance during the prologue session to secure second place on the grid. The pair continued their good form during the race, moving into the lead before the halfway service stop. Despite the difficulties of the route, that saw only 29 of the original 53 starters making it to the finish, Visser and Badenhorst had a trouble-free run to the final flag.
“It was a tough weekend,” explained Visser. “The route was physically demanding and being a new race on the calendar it was important to maintain concentration throughout. Once again the Ranger was up to the task and everything fell into place for us.”
While Visser and Badenhorst had a trouble-free weekend, teammates Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable experienced some of the teething problems often associated with introducing a new car to competitive racing.
An intermittent misfire caused by water on the route affected their performance during the prologue with Woolridge and Huxtable finishing the session in sixth place. The team managed to rectify the problem but another electrical problem reared its head during the race, eventually spelling an end to the pair’s weekend.
“These type of teething problems are expected with a new car. Whenever we experience different conditions, in this instance an abundance of water on the route, we learn how the vehicle reacts to these issues and how best to address them,” explained Woolridge.
The results see Visser and Badenhorst taking the lead in the driver’s championship. Also flying the Ford flag were Dirk Putter and Jacobus Claasen who took victory in Class E in their Ford Ranger.
“The Nkomazi 400 proved to be a fantastic new addition to the calendar. The community really came out in support of the race and we were thrilled to take our second victory in the new Ranger,” added Ford Racing Manager John Nagel.
The next round of the championship, the Toyota Dealer 400, gets underway on 17 May with the championship battle sure to be at fever pitch.