Ford Racing suffered bitter disappointment at the Sun City 400, the sixth leg of the South African National Off-Road Championships, presented by ABSA. Both the Class T and Class E rangers experienced unfortunate mechanical failures, eliminating them from the race.
Neil Woolridge and Kenny Skjoldhammer were performing well in Class T, running comfortably in second place and engaged in a close battle with the leaders when misfortune struck with a faulty battery, putting the pair out of the race.
The Class E pairing of Manfred Schröder and Jack Peckham were also running in second place after a good prologue until a broken rear sideshaft in their 2.5TD Ranger put paid to their race.
COMMENTS FROM THE DRIVERS AND CO-DRIVERS
Neil Woolridge - Driver Class T: "We were having a superb race until the battery gave up just 30 km from the finish line. It was very disappointing but we still enjoyed the race. We were having a great battle up front, which made the race very exciting for spectators.
"It was fantastic seeing so many of the Ford guys from the factory there. We really appreciate all the support we can get and we've been receiving some terrific feedback from them."
Kenny Skjoldhammer - Co-Driver Class T: "We're disappointed but it's nothing that we can't work out. The car was performing really well and we're extremely positive for the two remaining races of the championship.
"The course provided some really good off-road racing. It was tight and twisty and there were plenty of rocks and stumps on the side of the road meaning that you really had to stay in the track."
Manfred Schröder - Driver Class E: "We were delighted when we came second in the prologue, only 18 seconds behind the leaders. We were also doing really well in the race, changing places with the leaders a couple of times, before the sideshaft broke.
Jack Peckham - Co-Driver Class E: "We've had a bit of a rough run but the truck is performing exceptionally well and we are looking forward to showing everybody exactly what our Ranger can do.
"We expected the track to be rougher in the beginning than it was. However, it got tougher as more racers went over it and the rutted surface obviously took a toll on the sideshaft. But all in all we really enjoyed the terrain."