WhatDakar 2020 Week 1 Report
WhereRiyadh, Saudi Arabia
WhenSaturday 11 January 2020

Significant marker for SA adventure team

Red-Lined Motoring Adventures achieved a Dakar milestone on Friday when both of its entries arrived at this year’s halfway mark to log up a significant marker of 100 stage finishes since its cars have competed in the gruelling event.

“Today marks a significant milestone for Red-Lined Motoring Adventures,” team boss Terence Marsh admitted. “Both our South African built and developed Nismo V8-powered Nissan Navara VK56s arrived at today’s Dakar rest day without any issues at all following a quite treacherous first week of racing, but most significantly, today also marks 100 Dakar stage finishes for our machines.

“We are a comparatively tiny outfit running out of Kyalami and catering to satisfy the adventure dreams of our gentleman racers, rather than chasing outright victory, so we are delighted with this milestone. “The guys are now 33rd and 40th overall in this year’s race and we are only just getting into it - reaching the halfway mark is always a big achievement and the target remains to get both cars to Qiddiya. “This is however the Dakar and we know that it can all be over in the blink of an eye, so it’s all hands on deck as we continue on our ultimate adventure all the way to the finish.”

It has been a tough but satisfying first week for both Red-Lined crews — British Sabertooth duo Thomas Bell and Patrick McMurren equalled their previous day’s best Dakar stage yet as they powered into Riyadh in 40th overall after finishing 33rd on Friday following a tough first four days in their desert office. “We had another very good day in the dunes today, as we equalled our best Dakar stage result achieved yesterday,” a happy Thomas Bell explained. 

“That helps put the rest of the first week's challenges back of mind and to prepare for the new week ahead from a really positive point of view — we are now right in the game and will be fresh and ready come Sunday morning. “Our Sabertooth Nissan Navara has run like a train and performed faultlessly throughout the first week, the Red-Lined crew has been on point all the way as usual and we have no doubt that with a little luck, it will continue like that into week 2 — we can't wait!”

South African TreasuryOne Motorsport duo Hennie de Klerk and Johann Smalberger also arrived in Riyadh with their Navara in perfect fettle in 36th overall off a 30th place stage finish. “This race is all about reaching the finish,” 2018 Dakar Rookie of the Year de Klerk pointed out. “First we must finish the first day, then the first week, as we have done and then the big one is to reach the finish of the race in Qiddiya and we are only half way there. “It’s been a really tough week though, but today, for a change we did not score own goals after several challenges and a fair dose of bad luck early on.

“Our TreasuryOne Red-Lined Navara has run like a train throughout,” de Klerk concluded. “We made it to the rest day with ease at the end, so let’s hope that we've used up all of our bad luck already! “Now there remains one objective and that’s to reach the finish at Qiddiya — we are well into it, the car is running well and the team is primed — let’s do this!” 


Issued on behalf of Red-Lined Motoring Adventures

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