Team Ford Racing is aiming to bank valuable championship points at the Sun City 400, the sixth round of the South African National Off-Road Championship, presented by Absa. The race takes place on September 26 and 27 at Sun City and, given its proximity to Gauteng, a large crowd of spectators is expected.
Neil Woolridge and Kenny Skjoldhammer, who will participate in Team Ford Racing's Class T Ford Ranger, are expecting a close tussle between the front-runners. "It is really going to be a terrific event for spectators because I know that there will be a real battle up front. And we will be right up there - time and time again we have proved that our Built Ford Tough V6 petrol-powered Ranger is really on the pace," Woolridge points out.
Team Ford Racing has spent many long hours ensuring that the Ranger is better than it's ever been before and they are hoping for good weather for the benefit of spectators, families and sponsors who are set to line the route. "The Sun City race is great in that it is well organised and there is immense emphasis placed on ensuring good spectator points. Also, our fans in Gauteng can come through for the day. We are hoping that many of the Ford fans will be there - it is great to see them along the route, waving their Ford flags!" he reveals.
Manfred Schröder and Jack Peckham, in the Class E Ford Ranger 2.5TD 4x4 Double Cab, are also hoping to perform exceptionally well at the Sun City 400. The Class E Ford Ranger is currently lying third in class and the team obviously wants to bank as many points as possible on this event in order to improve that standing.
"Preparation is the key to success at an off-road race," comments Schröder. "Thankfully, our Ford engine is still performing absolutely perfectly - and we are relying on it to get us to the end of this race."
After the Tarkastad event, Schröder and Peckham are looking forward to a slightly easier run in their Ford Ranger and he is expecting an enjoyable track.
"Based on our experience at Sun City last year, I think the course will still be quite tough and really demanding on our Ranger which has been pushed to the very limit this year. I also expect the route to be quite technical, with lots of twists and turns. We will also have to be extremely careful. Last year, there were lots of tree stumps next to the road, which means that you really must remain on the track. 100% concentration is going to be pivotal," maintains Schröder.
The first event on the programme at the Sun City 400 is a 40 km prologue on Friday, September 27. It will determine the starting position for the main race on Saturday, September 27.
Saturday's race starts at 8 am and consists of three laps of 130 km each. The first finisher is expected at around 1 pm - and there will be lots of spectator points along the way.