Team Ford Racing enjoyed another strong outing on the gruelling Desert Race event, which took place in Botswana over three-days between 13 and 15 June. The event is considered to be one of the toughest on the ABSA Off Road Championship calendar and this year’s event was no different.
Neil Woolridge and Kenny Skjoldhammer competing in their SP Ford Ranger continued with their championship attack finishing in third place “We’re extremely pleased to have had another strong outing with another podium finish,” says Wooldridge. “At one point it looked as though we could challenge for victory however we had four punctures throughout the event and that certainly prevented us from challenging the leading crew.”
The event marks the fourth podium placing in a row for Woolridge and Skjoldhammer who have proved to be among the most consistent crews this season. “We’ve had a strong run lately, the truck has proved to be very reliable giving us the opportunity to challenge for this year’s title. We experienced some minor niggles on this event but that is to be expected on such a long event, overall we’re extremely impressed with the mechanical reliability of the trucks.”
Mark Ferguson and Craig West piloting the sister SP Ford Ranger had a less fortunate outing after they were forced into retirement on Saturday. “It’s disappointing not to have finished, however we learnt a lot and we’re now looking forward to the next event,” explained Ferguson.
Reigning Class E Champions Jack Peckham and Lucio Santoro competing in the Class E Ford Ranger had a day of mixed emotions. The pair won their class on the road but a 25 minute penalty was later awarded to them for having arrived late at driver’s briefing earlier in the weekend. The result pushed them down to third place.
“It’s very frustrating for us,” says Peckham. “We needed a strong result to get back in contention for the championship but unfortunately we were dropped down to third place.
The team will be back in action at round five of this year’s championship, the Sun City 400 at the end of July. The event is favourite of the Ford team and considered to be a home event for Ford with the Ford factory based in Pretoria.
“Overall we’re very happy with how the team has run in the first half of the season, we’ve had no major mechanical problems to contend with and we’re looking strong in the championship. We’ve had some very consistent runs since the start of the season and we’ll be looking to pick it up a notch as we enter the second half of the season,” comments team manager Woolridge.
“We always get a lot of support from the Ford supporters at the Sun City event and we expect that to be no different this year. Hopefully we’ll be able to give them something to cheer about,” he concludes.
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.