WhatSA Cross Country Auto Round 1 Preview
WhereDullstroom, Mphumalanga
When16-17 March 2019
CommunitySouth Africa National

Red-Lined has a different approach to cross country

Racing is all about winning, right?

Well, not always. Take Red-Lined Motoring Adventures for example. The privately owned Johannesburg based motoring adventure company chose cross county racing as its main poison, but it is not necessarily always about finishing first.

“It’s not always all about winning, especially when you are privateers with limited budgets up against the big factory teams” company founder and CEO Terence Marsh explains. “Red-Lined is more about ensuring its customers enjoy the best possible experience while chasing their personal dreams. “The Red-Lined way is all about the adventure, the journey and the people you meet along the way.

“We are a global experiential marketing business which is based in South Africa and offers cross country racing-based adventures which focus on providing our customers with an end to end solution, with full driver and navigator training as well as technical and logistical support for events globally. “We concentrate on the training and development of our customers – we take them to a variety of race events around the world, we train them and we improve their skills as endurance racers as part of their journey to bigger and tougher challenges, the likes of the Dakar and other major international cross country marathon events.

“We use the South African Cross Country Championship as a means to prepare our race cars, our customers and our crews – the local series is considered to be the best in the world and a great training ground for the Dakar, an opportunity not just to develop our drivers and crews, but also to develop and improve our race cars. 

“We have the traditional South African bush as we call it, which includes varied terrain made up of rocks, trees, mountains, desert sand, mud and the like – this with the change in our seasonal weather provides us with the perfect means to prepare, which when packaged with the option of some additional dune training in Namibia or alternatively in the UAE with our partners, Sabertooth Motoring Adventures, exposes our customers to all form of cross country racing conditions.”

Red-Lined will be running between three and six cars in this year's SA Cross Country Series depending on the selected event, starting with three Nissan Navaras in the season opener at Dullstroom on the 15-16 March.

The first entry is for the fast and capable Namibian rally crew, Jaco van Dyk and Micheal Rust. “We are probably too quick for Cross Country racing because we are used to flat out rallying,” van Dyk admitted. “We are excited to be part of the Red-Lined family and really look forward to the transition as we prepare for the demands of Cross County racing – we need to learn to pull back a little and to race at the pace that the terrain and the conditions allow us to in anticipation of our challenge of the 2021 Dakar.”

Another former rally crew racing with Red-Lined in 2019 is Schalk Burger Junior, son of former SA rally champion Schalk Senior (the rally Schalk Burgers, not the rugby Schalk Burgers!) and SA champion navigator Elvene Vonk, daughter of former SA rally and Cross Country champion Kassie Coetzee. “We can’t wait to complete our transition from rallying.” Burger explained. “We need to find the correct cross country pace and rhythm versus the rally ten-tenths we are used to.” They too aim to race the Dakar in the not too distant future.

54 year old Ernest Roberts is better known as one of SA’s fastest drag racers in two of the quickest Nissan GT-Rs in the country, but his aspirations to race the 2021 Dakar see him in a third Red-Lined Nissan Navara alongside the teams experienced navigator Riaan Greyling for the season. Roberts has raced several club and regional events in the build-up to the Dullstroom event as he comes to grips with cross country racing and the crew is looking forward to the challenge. 

“I need to learn to drive according to the conditions as well as my limited experience and to vary my pace as and when required, rather than doing it all flat out in 8 or 9 seconds,” Roberts pointed out. “I come off a zero base and I’m learning fast, especially from the joint experience of Terence and Riaan, but I still have plenty of work and distance to cover.” 

All three crews will race tried and tested Red-Lined Nissan T1 Navaras powered by 5-litre V8 engines with solid rear axles, but the team’s fourth entry will be for Terence Marsh and Andre Vermeulen as they begin with the testing and development of the team’s all-new 2019 VK56 T1 Nissan Navara in the near future, which  is powered by a mid-mounted Nissan Patrol 5.6 litre V8 engine along with with a few upgrades.

As the year unfolds, the likes of Dubai pairing Thomas Bell and Patrick McMurran, who finished this year’s Dakar on their first attempt aboard a Red-Lined Nissan Navara, will join the team together with two other new crews during the course of the season.

Red-Lined has a really busy start to the season, with cars racing in South Africa, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Morocco over the next six weeks as their technical crews travel around the world to provide service to their customers chasing their Dakar and other international dreams. And it’s all about the adventure at Red-Lined, long before just chasing for that next win.


Issued on behalf of Red-Lined Motoring Adventures

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