International model, surfing star and would-be film and TV star Roxy Louw will bring a touch of glamour to the Nkomazi 400, round two of the Donaldson 400 Cross Country Championship, in Malalane on April 12 and 13.
Roxy, the daughter of Springbok rugby legend Rob Louw, is the latest recruit to the Imperial Automotive Celebrity Challenge and will make her Cross Country Racing debut alongside former South African champion Archie Rutherford in the Imperial Automotive Nissan Navara. Roxy joins a list of sports celebrities and former Idols winner Heinz Winckler who have competed with Rutherford in the Celebrity Challenge.
Roxy’s modelling career took off after she stopped playing provincial hockey and took up competitive surfing. She joined Oakley America as a team rider and thereafter a photo shoot on a small Brazilian island rocketed her to fame.
The shoot became the Oakley campaign for the year, and Roxy also modelled swimwear for Sports Illustrated. Being voted the sexiest woman in the world by FHM also opened more doors for Roxy who is moving into the movie and television industries via a role in a Universal Pictures movie shot in South Africa.
“You just have to go with where the wind takes you,” said Roxy. But she won’t be short of female company on the Nkomazi 400.
A number of women will also be competing in the race, and a large number of the fair sex play major roles behind the scenes as team managers, race officials and race organisers. Sharon Marsh and Lizelle van Allemann act as team managers for the Regent Racing and Trysome Racing teams, and among those competing will be Yolinda Fourie who co-drives for husband Marius in the premier Class A category among the Special Vehicle brigade.
Zelda Niemandt also competes in Class A alongside Botswana driver Mogrey Mabille and Sandra Labuscagne co-drives for father Coetzee in Class P in the Special Vehicle category. A brother and sister combination also sees Lizelle van Tonder team up with brother Jacques in the UniFreight Ford in the premier Class SP category among the Production Vehicles.
“The Imperial Automotive Celebrity Challenge has been a lot of fun and has taken Cross Country Racing to a wider audience,” said Terence Marsh, marketing executive for the Donaldson Cross Country Championship. “The celebrities have come up with a couple of good results with Springbok rugby legend Stefan Terblanche and Paralympics star Natalie du Toit achieving top 10 finishes. If Archie can keep his eyes on the road the pair can hopefully improve on this to set a new bench mark!”
Race headquarters and the designated service area on the Nkomazi 400 will be at the Riverview Primary School in Malalane. Public entrance to these areas and spectator points along the route will be free of charge.
The prologue on Friday, April12 to determine grid positions will start at 12:30 and the race the following day at 08:30.