- Team Ford Racing put in a valiant effort at the final round of the Absa Off Road championship
- Visser and Badenhorst one of only two crews to finish every round this season
- Lance Woolridge completes first full season in SP at just 21 years of age
PRETORIA, South Africa, 28 November 2012 The 2012 Absa Off Road Championship was decided at the final round of the season, the Gold 400 this past weekend. Team Ford Racing headed into the event with an outside shot at the championship honours with Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst needing to clinch victory in order to surpass log-leaders Duncan Vos and Rob Howie (Toyota).
“The odds were definitely stacked against us but we were determined to give our all,” commented Visser. “Unfortunately we didn’t have a clean run and we were left with too much to do too late in the day.”
Inclement weather and an unknown route provided all the crews with their fair share of difficulties over the course of the weekend. But despite the challenges Visser and Badenhorst demonstrated their pace by leading the race in the early stages. Sadly their championship aspirations were cut short when a series of punctures saw them drop down the field.
“Regardless of the outcome, the team has every reason to be proud,” explains Team Manager Neil Woolridge. “Chris and Japie never gave up, keeping the championship alive until the final race.”
Teammates Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable also demonstrated their pace at the final round with the pair leading the race for a period. It was the 21 year-olds first occasion leading the pack but it was a short-lived achievement as the young driver hit a rock and damaged the vehicles suspension.
“It was disappointing to go out while leading but nevertheless we can look back on a successful season,” said a Lance after the race. “This year was my first full year in the SP class so every experience is a learning one for me. We have a new car to look forward to next year, something we are all very excited about.”
Next season the team will debut the all-new Ford Ranger
“Off Road racing is in a very healthy state right now with big fields, manufacturer involvement and continued interest from sponsors. We’ll be in the new Rangers from the start of next season and are extremely excited about the prospects for next year,” concluded Woolridge.
Team Ford Racing’s efforts would not be possible without the support of its dedicated sponsors BP, Castrol, Innovation Group, Motorvia, Sign Solutions and Time Freight.