|What||South African Cross Country Auto Round 3 Report|
|When||18-20 June 2021|
|Community||South Africa National|
Another 100% finish for the team with two in the top ten
Red-Lined Motorsport in partnership with the Penta Motor Group enjoyed a splendid, if in part heart breaking run at the biggest weekend of the South African Cross County year at the Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa 1000 Desert Race over the weekend. All four Red-Lined entries finished the super-tough Kalahari marathon, with two of them in the top ten, while one of the crews mounted an incredible come from behind Road to Dakar win.
Conrad Rautenbach and Riaan Greyling were the top Red-Lined finishers as they split the factory Hiluxes in their Penta Motul Red-Lined VK56. “We had a completely trouble-free run in a super tough race,” Rautenbach admitted. “My VK56 was perfect every inch of the way and we had the ideal run and there really is not much more to report!”
The drive of the race was however Eben Basson and Gerhard Schutte’s comeback run from a 15-minute time trial penalty on their Desert Race debut. They came home ninth to clinch the illustrious Road to Dakar prize aboard their Isuza Carriers Red-Lined VK56. “That was an incredible run!” an ecstatic Eben enthused. “We were in a dark place after that penalty, but we put our heads down and just went for it from 43rd on the road and when we brought it home, we learned that we’d not only made the top ten, but we had also won a free entry to Dakar 2023! “The only pity was that Dakar success was at our teammates’ expense as Ernest had driven such a brilliant race, but we were delighted to also continue our 100% finishing record in Cross Country racing!”
As Basson mentioned, teammates Ernest Roberts and Henry Kohne suffered the heartbreak of a driveshaft failure almost within sight of the finish on the Dragon Energy Red-Lined VK56, robbing them of certain Road to Dakar success. “Racing can be a bitch,” Ernest rued. “We had a perfect run in the top ten all the way and in a 30 minute Road to Dakar lead. “Then 38 kilometres from the finish, bang! “We suffered a sideshaft failure. “We managed to make an emergency repair and limp home an unlucky 13th of the FIA cars, but Eben and Gerhard passed us, so well done to them – at least we kept the Dakar prize in the Red-Lined camp. “We’re definitely still heading to Dakar 2022 and we will keep on using our local program to prepare us for that.”
Red-Lined’s fourth team Philip Botha and Roelof Janse van Vuren meanwhile delivered on their promise to close off their 100% finish run aboard their Penta Motor Group VK50 before stepping up to a new VK56. “We have now completed our fairytale run of finishing every race we ever started in our ever faithful machine,” Philip admitted. “We had to fight for this one though, especially the last 40km after rolling the car along the way! “We are proud to have finished our first marathon race too and now we can’t wait to step up to that new VK56!”
“Wow – the Desert Race certainly had it all,” Red-Lined team principal Terence Marsh concluded. “From agony to ecstasy and back again, we lived an absolute adventure this weekend. “Conrad and Riaan delivered a clinical drive to come home a splendid seventh, Eben and Gerhard recovered brilliantly from their penalty to ninth and take the Road to Dakar win and Philip and Roelof made it a perfect run in their VK50. “And Ernest and Henry, what can we say? “They did everything right in the drive of his career, they had not put a foot wrong in 11 hours of racing, but lady luck was so cruel to strike just half an hour from the finish.
“As a team, we are delighted with two cars in the top ten and a 100% finishing record, not only in this killer Kalahari weekend that has on average a 50% finishing rate, but also throughout the 2021 season so far. “Our next appointment is at Vryburg for our SACC double-header weekend on 13 August and we may just have something truly exciting to look forward to, that weekend – watch this space!”
*Red-Lined Motorsport Adventures competes with premium strategic partners, the Penta Motor Group, BFGoodrich, Motul, Dragon Energy, Jonnesway Tools, Expand a Sign and Wheel Collision.
Issued on behalf of Red-Lined Motorsport
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