Team Ford Racing’s four Ford Rangers will be joining the ABSA Off Road Championship brigade and will head for Botswana for the Toyota 1000 Desert Race run from June 15 to 17. With the route covering 1000km’s, the Toyota 1000 Desert Race is run over a three day period, with the Prologue run on Friday the 15th and the 1000 km’s split over two days, June 16th and 17th. The Desert Race is round four in the ABSA Off-Road Championship Series, and demands endurance and durability from man and machine.
After a very successful outing at Sun City, SP Champions, Neil Woolridge and co-driver Kenny Skjoldhammer find themselves right back in the championship with their Class SP Ford Ranger, “The Desert Race is my favourite event of the year. Although this year’s route will be run over new territory, both Kenny and I are very confident on achieving a good result, and looking forward to it,” says Neil Woolridge.
“This is an extremely long and demanding race, so it’s important not to push too hard and just focus on not making mistakes. Our Rangers are Ford Built Tough and well prepared by the technical crew. After our good results at Sun City, I’m expecting podium results from the team.”
2006 Class E champions, Manfred Schröder and Ward Huxtable in their Barloworld/Absolute SP Ranger, is currently leading the Ford Racing team in points, and is looking forward to moving even higher through the overall championship ranks. Schröder knows the ins and outs of the 1000km long event and states the importance of concentration.
“It’s a fine balance between maintaining speed and keeping out of trouble. One puncture during this race can be detrimental to your result, so I will not be pushing flat out. The Desert Race is over 1000km, so patience is the key here. To finish first, you must first finish, they always say.”
The third Team Ford Racing Class SP Ranger is driven by Brandon Harcus navigator Juan Mohr. Harcus knows the event well from his days behind the wheel of a Special Vehicle category vehicle, and believes his knowledge of the terrain will be advantageous to his result.
Harcus says, “We have 500km in one direction on Saturday, and 500km in the opposite on Sunday. First priority to me is looking after the car, while maintaining the pace. I also want to make sure I get a good starting position from Friday’s prologue, as dust is an important factor in the desert. I feel our Rangers are suited very well for this terrain with lots of low down torque and an efficient suspension system.”
Finally, Class E Championship leader Jack Peckham and his co-driver Lucio Santoro will look to extend their lead in the points race with their Team Ford Racing Ranger. Peckham and Santoro have consistently scored well at the previous three races, and hope to continue their success in Class E.
“We I lead by a slim margin and can’t afford any slip-ups. I’m not too worried though. I know my team will prepare the car well and I’ll repay them with a good result. I will take it easy, as I know how important it is to just finish this race.” commented Peckham.
Team Ford Racing is supported by Ford, Rockford Fosgate, Harden Panel Beaters, Time Freight, Sign Solutions, Barloworld Armstrong, Absolute and Ford Credit.