27 September, 2010 – Pretoria –Team Ford Racing newcomer Lance Woolridge (19) became the youngest ever competitor to complete the gruelling 1000km marathon with a hard earned Class E victory for production vehicles. His achievement is all the more impressive in light of the fact that it was his maiden Desert Race experience. Together with navigator Ward Huxtable they endured a difficult event but emerged the only Class E crew to make it to the flag.
“It was a really tough event for everyone,” explained Lance after the event. “We had an unexpected altercation with a cow on route, however the team did a fantastic job to keep us in the race.”
The team rebuilt the vehicle following the incident. Due to the damage, Lance and Ward were forced to cover over 300kms in two-wheel drive. No small feat given the trying desert conditions. The pair are now in a strong position to claim the Class E championship honours.
While Lance and Ward endured an outstanding result, the weekend proved a difficult one for Neil Woolridge and Kenny Skjoldhammer. Neil and Kenny’s Ford Racing Ranger 3.2 TDCi suffered turbo problems and were forced to withdraw.
“It was very disappointing for us. We were confident ahead of the race starting from second place after a successful prologue outing. Unfortunately it was not to be this weekend,” added Woolridge.
With temperatures in excess of 38º there were many casualties over the course of the weekend however the event attracted thousands of spectators.
“This event is always a special one and the spectators were able to witness some great racing. We’re entering the home stretch of the championship now and the racing action is sure to be closer than ever. I would like to thank the team for a job well done, Ford, sponsors and supporters for their continued support,” concluded Woolridge.
The next round of the championship takes place on 23 October in the Free State giving teams an opportunity to re-group ahead of the final fight to the finish.