One of South Africa’s off-road racing legends, Cliff Barker, will come out of retirement to compete in the Lesotho Sun 400, the fifth round of the Absa Off-road Championship, which takes place on August 20 and 21.
Barker, together with former national champion, Mike Reddin, who is now based in Francistown, Botswana, return to Lesotho with their sights set on victory, 10 years after they won the Roof of Africa in a Land Rover Defender 110.
Their victory in 1994 was Land Rover’s second success in this event after Eddie Keizan won the race for the first time in 1969 in a Series 2 Defender.
Barker and Reddin have an unprecedented finish rate on the Roof with five finishes out of six starts and an overall win in 1994.
In 1996 Reddin and his navigator, Wyatt Joseph, upset the off-road racing apple-cart by dominating the four cylinder 4x4 Class in their diesel powered Land Rover but were denied their second place overall and the class victory because they were deemed to have deviated from the route.
Barker, who has not competed this season due to business commitments, has always been a tough competitor to beat. His BMW M3 powered Land Rover Defender 110 might not have the speed of the works Nissan Hardbody pick-ups and the Ford Ranger, but Barker has a lot of off-road racing experience and could just pull off an upset win.
The Lesotho Sun 400 gets underway at 12h00 on Friday, August 20 with a 4km Special Stage at the Maseru Race Course, or Pope’s Stadium as it is commonly referred to, followed by a 40km Prologue, which starts and finishes in Roma. The main event on Saturday will comprise two laps of a 200km course in the lowlands South East of Maseru with the first car starting at 08h00.