Team Ford Racing will head to Botswana for round four of this year’s ABSA National Off Road Championship, set to take place between 13 and 15 June. The 1000km Toyota Desert Race is considered to be one of the most gruelling events on the calendar and this year will be no different.

Neil Woolridge and Kenny Skjoldhammer are enjoying a strong season in their SP Class Ford Ranger. “The Desert Race is one of my favourite events of the year,” comments Woolridge. It’s an extremely long and demanding race on crew and trucks, so it’s important not to push too hard and focus on not making mistakes. This year we’ll be looking to challenge at the front of the field and further strengthen our position in the championship. ”

The rookie crew of Mark Ferguson and Craig West piloting the sister SP Ford Ranger will be looking to steer clear of any major mishaps as they get to grips with the course.

“This year’s route will incorporate a number of new sections,” explains Ferguson. “This puts all competitors on a somewhat more even playing field. Our first priority will be looking after the truck while still maintaining a reasonable pace.”

Reigning Class E Champions Jack Peckham and Lucio Santoro competing in the Class E 2.5 diesel Ford Ranger are currently lying in second place in the Class E Championship.

“It’s a fine balance between maintaining speed and keeping out of trouble. One puncture during this race can be detrimental to your result,” explains Peckham. “It’s also important to get a good position from Friday’s prologue, as dust can be an important factor in the desert. We need some strong results to claw our way back into the championship battle and this is certainly an event where anything can happen.”

Team manager Woolridge is optimistic ahead of the upcoming event. ”The Ford Rangers have proved to be very tough and reliable, and those attributes will be tested on the Desert Race. This year’s route is expected to be as tough as ever with some new elements thrown in for good measure. We are confident that all three crews will have a strong showing on the event.”

Team Ford Racing recognises the following sponsors for their commitment and belief in the team: Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, Time Freight, Special Steels, Ferguson investments, Hugo’s Panel Shop – Pietermaritzburg, Eibach Springs, Sign Solutions and Donerre Dampers.