The RFS Magalies 400, the final round of the 2008 Absa Off Road Championship, took place over the weekend of 22 November. Heading into the event, only four points separated three championship hopefuls, with Team Ford Racing’s Neil Woolridge and Kenny Skjoldhammer heading the title battle.

But it wasn’t to be for the Ford crew, a broken rear axle spelled the end to Ford’s challenge after a hard fought battle throughout the year. “We have had an exemplary run of reliability and unfortunately that run came to an end at the worst possible moment,” said a disappointed Woolridge at the end of the race.

The Ford crew was looking well placed to take second place when tragedy struck and a broken rear axle weld saw them run into driveshaft problems. With 27km to go Woolridge and Skjoldhammer nursed the Ford Ranger home to finish in 19th place overall.

“It was frustrating but that’s racing. We’d like to congratulate Duncan Vos on his victory and we look forward to resuming the battle with him and his team next season,” he adds.

“This season has given us a great foundation to build on during 2009. We also look forward to the introduction of new cars and improved technology that will hopefully see us poised in an even stronger position to challenge for the top honours.”

Woolridge and Skjoldhammer proved to be one of the most consistent crews in 2008 taking a podium placing at every round except the last.

“We would like to thank Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa for their continued support over the years and for giving us a great vehicle in the 4.0 litre Ford Ranger. We were able to demonstrate the pace and reliability of the vehicle this year on some very tough and trying events. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve the success we have without the support of all our sponsors as well as all the members of the team who have dedicated endless hours to making the team a success.”

Team Ford Racing recognises the following sponsors for their commitment and belief in the team: Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, Time Freight, Special Steels, Ferguson investments, Hugo’s Panel Shop – Pietermaritzburg, Eibach Springs, Sign Solutions and Donerre Dampers.