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NWM Ford Castrol Team – All to Play for at NAMPO Double-Header

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NWM Ford Castrol Team – All to Play for at NAMPO Double-Header

PIETERMARITZBURG, South Africa, 23 September 2022 – The upcoming fourth and fifth rounds of the 2022 South African Rally-Raid Championship (SARRC) are guaranteed to deliver a double dose of exciting racing, and

Nampo Double Header Nwm Ford Castrol Team

PIETERMARITZBURG, South Africa, 23 September 2022 – The upcoming fourth and fifth rounds of the 2022 South African Rally-Raid Championship (SARRC) are guaranteed to deliver a double dose of exciting racing, and will provide a crucial opportunity for the Neil Woolridge Motorsport (NWM) Ford Castrol team of Gareth Woolridge and Boyd Dreyer (#277) to score vital points to move up the championship table.

The double-header will be based at NAMPO Park, near Bothaville in the Free State, with two separate races of approximately 350km each to be held on Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October 2022, respectively.

Gareth and Boyd are currently fifth in Class FIA T1+ in their EcoBoost V6-powered NWM Ford Ranger on 69 points, with 26 points separating the top five competitors. Notably, there’s a gap of just 13 points to the second-place Toyota crew of Guy Botterill/Simon Vacy Lyle, so the team is aiming to maximise its opportunities at the NAMPO event.

The young duo proved that they are undoubtedly in contention for a top result by winning the qualifying sprint at the previous round in Bronkhorstspruit, but the session was later cancelled. Driveshaft issues ultimately hampered their race and they ended fifth. However, with the recent upgrades introduced on the T1+ Ranger by the NWM team, Gareth and Boyd should be in the thick of the action throughout the weekend.

Team-mates Lance Woolridge and Elvéne Vonk (#234) are hoping to turn their challenging season around in the second NWM Ford Castrol T1+ Ranger. They have set the pace on several occasions this year, but have yet to finish a race. Accordingly, they are using the second half of the season to conduct durability and high mileage testing of key components on the T1+ Ranger as part of its development programme. With nothing to lose, there’s no doubt that they will be pushing hard from the moment the flag drops.

“We are hoping for a good performance at the back-to-back NAMPO races that will show the true potential of our T1+ NWM Ranger,” says team principal Neil Woolridge. “The team has been hard at work after the last race sorting out the driveshaft niggles, and we have done several test sessions with these changes and some further upgrades, with no issues.

“I’m confident that we will be able to take the fight to our rivals at the NAMPO event which suits our vehicle, as we proved last year with Gareth and Boyd finishing on the podium on the Friday, and Lance and Elvéne winning the Saturday race,” Neil says.

In Class T, Christo Rose and Arno Olivier (#T58) are the leading NWM-supported privateers in their V8-powered Ford Ranger. They are currently second in class with 61 points, just 10 points behind Jayden Els/Armand du Toit (Renault).

Race programme

According to the SARRC, the NAMPO race routes are similar to last year but run in the opposite direction, with the varied terrain including fast open sections with a good mix of technical areas around an old pan, an unused coal power station and old grass-covered mine dumps. There’s also extensive use of surrounding farmlands that are a key feature of the landscape in this area, with loops around the familiar irrigation pivots and tricky soft sand sections to challenge the crews.

There’s a common 10km Pirelli qualifying loop on both days, with the 10 top competitors drawing their starting positions in reverse order from slowest to fastest – an important strategy, as it’s never ideal to be the first vehicle to open the road. The qualifying race starts at 07:30 each day, followed by the main race at 09:30.

Friday’s route covers approximately 166km to the east of NAMPO Park, while Saturday’s route heads west and covers approximately 172km. On each day, the respective routes are repeated twice, separated by a 30-minute compulsory service stop at the designated service park (DSP) at the NAMPO grounds. Access to the DSP is free, and the race route provides numerous easily accessible spectator points.

Follow all the action and track the position of the crews throughout each of the 2022 season’s races using the RallySafe app which can be downloaded free of charge for iOS and Android devices.

Breyten Odendaal

Hello! I am a publisher for 3D Car Shows. Besides cars and automotive news, I am also interested in virtual reality, 3D modeling and animation.

Published : Friday September 23, 2022

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