Marius Roberts gets hooked on Cross Country Motor Racing


    Imperial Auto is one of the lead sponsors for Regent Racing, a team that participates in the Donaldson Cross Country Motor Racing events – a motor racing championship of eight events each held over two days. The teams drive approximately 460km over the two days in their tough, customised Nissan Navara V6 and V8 race cars, with the first day’s event being used to determine the starting lineup ahead of the second day’s 400km epic journey.


    At each event Regent Racing and Imperial Auto invites a celebrity to join as professional navigator for one of the experienced drivers. For the 1st March 2014 event – the RFS450 in the Free State – we invited television personality, Ignition TV anchor presenter, rugby player and self-confessed petrol head, Marius Roberts to participate as a navigator. The event included a 100km qualifying race on Friday 28 March, used to determine pole position for Saturday’s event of two loops of a 180km route.

    “This was an incredible experience, I’m completely hooked!” said Roberts after the event, his voice still racing with excitement. “It reminded me of the old days of big touring car events – but on steroids. If anyone is getting jaded by the status quo in motoring sport, this is definitely the event that’s going to get your passion for it going again – it’s exciting, it’s challenging, and the whole event is incredibly well organized.”

    Roberts adds that he was particularly impressed with the focus on safety at the event, as well as the significant planning and logistics that went into organising a world-class event.

    “Regent Racing, with the help of sponsors like Imperial Auto, really does prove that South African event management is at the top of its game, providing a fantastic showcase for the incredible vehicles that are manufactured in this country,” he said. “I’ve not seen anything like it in the five years I’ve been hosting Ignition (DSTV Channel 189) – and I’m looking forward to following its progress now that I’ve such a great first-hand experience!”

    The race was made all the more challenging after lengthy downpours of rain – in fact, the conditions were so tough that very few vehicles finished the race.

    “It was still a remarkable day for the spectators, who were hosted at carefully placed viewing points along the route, located to be safe while offering the best opportunities to see the excitement,” Roberts said. “It’s a great day out for the family, watching man and machine pit their wits and their brawn against some of the toughest – and in this case, wettest – terrain in South Africa.”

    The next Donaldson Cross Country Motor Racing event, will take place in Mooi River in KwaZulu Natal on 4thand 5thApril 2014. Look out forSpringbok and Sharks rugby legend, AJ Venter, who will be taking up the hot seat as a guest navigator for that event.