Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa has a long standing relationship with the TOTAL Economy Run, having competed in the event for the better part of two decades. This year Ford Motor Company fields the largest entry with four Ford models, four Mazda derivatives and one Land Rover.
“Ford has a long standing involvement in the Economy Run,” explains Ben Pillay, General Manager Communications and Corporate Affairs, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. “Lazarus Motor Company has played an integral role in our involvement in the event with all preparation being done by the Centurion based dealership.”
Stuart Greig and Wynand Gerber will this year pilot a Ford Fiesta 1.4-litre in Class B. Having come second in the Class B in 2006 Grieg will be looking for a win to head Class B.
Roger Hills and Gordon Stewart will pilot the Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi, with Tony Barbosa and Les Mackenzie in the Ford Focus 2-litre TDCi. Both the Fiesta TDCi (Class I) and the Focus TDCi (Class J) have proven track records as Economy Runner winners and are expected to perform well in their respective classes.
Jose Ferreira and Piet van Heerden will make their Economy Run debut in the newly launched Ford Ranger 3.0 TDCi. Ferriera an experienced rally and regularity driver will contest in Class M for 4×4 vehicles alongside the Mazda entrants Hannes Visser and Arno le Grange. Visser, best known for his work on TV show L’at Wiel will also be making his Economy Run debut behind the wheel of the Mazda BT50 3.0 Drifter 4×4, which was launched in SA last month.
Schalk and Susan van Niekerk will represent Mazda, piloting the new Mazda5 2-litre. The team will use this year’s event as an opportunity to learn more about the Mazda5, a vehicle, which the team believes will do well.
Gordon Noble and Graham Bate in the Mazda3 2.3-litre and Roger Rouessart and Julian Grift in the Mazda3 MPS will compete in Class E but will be looking to feature in the overall results. Both vehicles, which are new to the local market, remain an unknown entity however the experienced crews will draw on their vast knowledge in order to achieve a strong result.
Rounding out the FMCSA line-up will be Andrew Fuller and Peter van Beek in a Land Rover Discovery 3. The team were victorious in Class M last year and will be looking to repeat the feat at this year’s event.
“We are confident of a strong result at this year’s event. We have a nice mix of proven Economy Run winners as well as a handful of newly launched products. Similarly we have an experienced line-up of drivers and navigators who are well equipped to bring home the silverware,” concluded Pillay.