RFS Motorsport heads for Mpumalanga cross country race in confident mood
After coming agonizingly close to winning the opening round of the 2013 Donaldson SA Cross Country Championship in North West Province in March, RFS Motorsport’s Christiaan du Plooy and Henk Janse van Vuuren (BMW X3) will be looking to make up for their disappointment with a good result in the Nkomazi 400 in Mpumalanga this weekend (April 12 and 13).
One of the up-and-coming young combinations in cross country racing’s premier Special Production class – the pair finished the 2012 season in a creditable fourth place after enjoying a maiden win in the Sun City round in June – Du Plooy and Janse van Vuuren led the RFS Magalies 400 with 25 kilometres of the 400-kilometre race remaining when they picked up a puncture. With the finish line at the Tarlton Raceway near Magaliesburg so close, they decided to press on and complete the race on the flat tyre.
It was not the right decision. Ten kilometres later, with just 15 kilometres to go, they hit a rock and dislodged the differential, which in turn caused the propshaft to come loose. They were forced to watch helplessly as the field passed them and robbed them of what would have been a well-deserved victory.
“It was very frustrating,” admitted Du Plooy. “We took a calculated risk, which didn’t come off. That’s motor racing. However, we were very happy with our performance and the RFS BMW. The car ran like clockwork and didn’t miss a beat. We were leading by about three minutes when we were forced to retire.
“Now we have a chance to make up for this early set-back in the Nkomazi 400. It’s a brand new event and we’ll all be entering unchartered territory in the area near Malelane in the Mpumalanga Lowveld. We’re looking forward to a good race. We’ve made some changes to the car and completed some useful testing, so we’re confident we can again challenge for a win. Our main objective, though, will be to get as many points on the board as we can after failing to score any in the first round.”