|What||South African Cross Country Auto Round 1 Report|
|When||Saturday 27 March 2021|
|Community||South Africa National|
Three cars in the FIA Class top ten in Mpumalanga
Red-Lined Motorsport in partnership with the Penta Motor Group enjoyed a great start to the South African Cross Country car racing season at Dullstroom over the weekend. Three of its cars emerged in the top ten of the hardest fought FIA class for many a year. It was also a case of what could have been for the fourth car following a great performance before being sidelined by a mysterious late race mechanical issue.
It was sweet revenge for Ernest Roberts and Henry Kohne who brought their Dragon Energy powered Red-Lined VK56 home to a fine fourth overall. “Well, we made up for last year at Dullstroom, that’s for sure,” Ernest smiled. “We retired from third here last year and that was gut wrenching, so to come home fourth in one of the biggest FIA fields we have ever seen, was a great feeling. “Thanks to Red-Lined for a brilliant car — now we fight on!”
Dullstroom also proved a wonderful national debut for Mpumalanga Cross Country racing rookie Eben Basson alongside Gerhard Schutte in his Izusa Carriers Red-Lined VK56 at Dullstroom. “Eighth on debut is better than I could ever have imagined on my national debut,” the man from Komatipoort admitted. “To do that and finish my fifth race out of five starts in my home province, makes it all that much more worthwhile!”
Another Red-Lined rookie crew, Philip Botha and Roelof Janse van Vuren meanwhile made it eight straight finishes in eight races since their Cross Country debut aboard their Penta Motor Group Red-Lined VK50 late last year. “They say that to finish first, we must first finish and we are delighted to have now completed each of the eight races we have ever started,” Botha explained. "Dullstroom was a huge test, this one is a feather in our cap!"
It was a case of what could have been for Conrad Rautenbach on his Cross Country comeback alongside Riaan Greyling in the Penta Motul Red-Lined VK56. “That was of a baptism of fire,” Rautenbach reflected. “We had decent pace all weekend, but we were delayed on Friday. “Saturday started well and we were second quickest in the morning loop and looking good for a strong result when that issue raised its head 20 km from the finish and we were out. “That’s racing, I suppose!”
“Three cars in the FIA class top ten on a day like today?” team boss Terence Marsh quizzed. “Yes — we'll take that! “Overall we enjoyed a great start to the season at a rough, tough, muddy and rocky Dullstroom, but it was also tough to lose the fourth car so late in the day. “Still, Ernest and Conrad showed great pace against a world-class field and we are now really looking forward to the next race at the Sugar Belt 400 in KZN 21-22 May."
*Red-Lined Motorsport Adventures competes with premium strategic partners, the Penta Motor Group, BFGoodrich, Motul, Dragon Energy, Jonnesway Tools, Expand a Sign and Wheel Collision.
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