Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton
Reigning national rally champions Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton defend their title under the Ford Racing banner this year, and will campaign their four-wheel-drive Fiesta with further backing from Ferodo brakes, Castrol lubricants, OMP motorsport equipment, Portable Shade and Bandit Signs.
“It’s brilliant to have our achievements formally recognised by Ford and to get the backing of the dealer network: for every car they sell money comes our way, so we aim to consistently get the kind of results which will keep traffic flowing through their showrooms!” explained the duo. They are embarking on their third season in a Fiesta S2000, once again carrying their trademark #24, and freshly rebuilt in the United Kingdom and now sporting a new bodyshell and rebuilt engine.
Cronje/Houghton have taken on and beaten full works teams for the last two years, proving beyond doubt that they have the in-car skills and professionalism as a team to compete at the highest level. Both have won multiple championships: Cronje in karting, circuit racing, off-road and rallying and Houghton as a navigator in both rallying and off-road.
They start their title defence in Kwazulu-Natal on March 8, but will warm-up for the season-opener with a drive in a potent Fiesta World Rally Championship car in the Malcolm Wilson Rally in the UK’s beautiful Cumbria region on March 2,an event in which they have been invited to compete in recognition of their victory in the South African championship.
“We’re extremely pleased be part of Ford Racing this season, and their support is going to make it possible to once again stay at the front of what is shaping up to be a very competitive championship,” concluded Cronje. “Rally fans can follow our progress both here and abroad on my Facebook page, facebook.com/mark.cronje.12