WhatSouth African Cross Country Auto Round 6 Report
WhereLichtenburg, Northwest Province
WhenSaturday 14 September 2019
CommunitySouth Africa National

A weekend of firsts in dry Lichtenburg

If ever a South African Cross Country Auto race was dusty, the weekend’s Lichtenburg 400 was it. That did not stop Red-Lined Motoring Adventures from delivering a day of firsts at the finish line at the Northwest Province town on Saturday. 

Richard Leeke III was the highlight of a star performance with third in the FIA class on his maiden race aboard a brand new Nismo V8-powered Red-Lined VK-56 Nissan Navara alongside Zaheer Bodhanya, while Ernest Roberts and Henry Kohne overcame a couple of punctures to power their Navara to 9th in class and circuit endurance racing convert, Kishoor Pitamber made a dream Cross Country debut under the watchful eye of navigator Andre Vermeulen to finish his first-ever race on the dirt.

Leeke and Bodhanya were delighted with their first race together in the Red Lined Navara VK-56. “What an incredible weekend!” Richard grinned. “That was my best-ever cross country result and all I can say is that I was overwhelmed by the Red-Lined Nissan Navara — the brand new race car's build was only completed last week and we did a 87km shake-down before it was locked, loaded and shipped to Lichtenburg and it never missed a beat. “What a tribute to an incredible team — special thanks to Terence Marsh for this wonderful opportunity and to Zaheer for an excellent job — man, it was dusty out there but this car just made it so easy!"

Roberts and Kohne suffered a few punctures on route, but pressed on to another strong points paying finish. “To say today was dusty out there is an absolute understatement,” Ernest explained. “Visibility was near zero so often, which made the going most difficult and unfortunately we picked up two punctures while trying to pick our way through the murk and lost a bit of time swapping wheels. “Otherwise our JCP Roofing Red-Lined Navara VK-56 ran like a dream — what a car, what an adventure!” 

Perhaps the most remarkable drive of the day came from Pitamber, who had never raced a Cross Country car before Friday's Lichtenburg time trial, but he took heed of his experienced notes man, Vermeulen’s sage advice to bring it home in a most impressive learning drive. “Now that was an adventure!” Kishoor admitted. “Racing out there in the dry sand and dust, often with little or no visibility is completely different to driving my Ferrari on track, but we pulled it off and brought it home. “That was an epic adventure and will go down as one of the highlights of my racing career — now I can’t wait for the next race!”

The Lichtenburg 400 was another great race for Red-Lined Motoring Adventures,” team principal Terence Marsh concluded. “Our three team cars all finished, with Richard and Zaheer driving a brilliant race to end on the FIA podium in a brand new car, Ernest and Henry brought it home in the points and Kishoor and Andre made a bit of history to finish the race without any real preparation.

Also, both King Price entries we look after for Clint Weston and Riaan Greyling, and Schalk Burger and Elvene Vonk also brought it home for another 100% finish — well done to all of them and to our incredible team for pulling off yet another brilliant adventure so well.”


Issued on behalf of Red-Lined Motoring Adventures

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