Basil Read Ford team, spearheaded by multiple SA Rally Champion Jan Habig and navigator Robert Paisley in the Basil Read Ford will complete the strong Ford line-up for the Sasol Rally next weekend, 19 and 20 April.
Basil Read Chief Executive Officer, Marius Heyns said “our sponsored team are proving that they are worth their mettle. We are very pleased with their achievements and look forward to another strong performance in the Sasol Rally.”
The Ford teams of Mark Cronjé partnered by Robin Houghton and Jan Habig with navigator Robert Paisley, will be joined by Matthew Wilson from M-Sport. “This is very exciting news for rallying in South Africa. Not only will they see the calibre of an international driver in action, but M-Sport chief Malcolm Wilson will be in a position to see the vehicles prepared in the UK, under rallying conditions in South Africa,” said Habig. Ford were dominant in the first event, and will be defending their positions on the Sasol Rally.
“The Sasol Rally is certainly the benchmark event on the rally calendar, and the organisers under Willie du Plessis do a superb job. Having an international driver like Matthew Wilson will certainly add spice to the event, and a feast for Ford fans and rally enthusiasts,” said Jan.
The Sasol Rally run in the picturesque Sabie and Nelspruit area draws thousands of rally spectators. “This event not only tests the crews but the cars are tested to the limit under rugged conditions, and in the very competitive S2000 class there is no room for error. Road conditions are also very different from the long sweeping rally roads of Natal. Reliability will play a key role in this event, and over and above the normal preparation, we are spending a bit more time than usual on the set-up which will be crucial in the performance of the car on the forest roads.”
As the Sasol Rally is a round of the Africa Championship, crews will have the opportunity of covering the route twice before the event. “This gives drivers and navigators the opportunity of making notes that suit their driving style, but it is important to get it right.”
A strong come-back is also expected from the Volkswagen crews who are sponsored by Sasol, and any one of the crews would love to be on the podium on their sponsor’s event. “This is one event one cannot under-estimate any of the top crews. Then there are is also Mohammed Essa from Zambia, and Giancarlo Davite from Rwanda and Jayssie Singh from Zambia who will be in action,” Habig concluded.