The 2020 South African National Cross-Country Championship will start in style in and around Dullstroom this weekend, with the occasion the Mpumalanga 400 race.
Topping the Production Vehicle category will be defending champions Henk Lategan/ Brett Cummings (Toyota Gazoo Hilux), backed by the identical Gazoo Hilux bakkies of Giniel de Villiers/ Alex Haro and Shameer Variawa/ Dennis Murphy. Running their Toyota Hilux in Total Excellium colours will be Chris Visser and Danie Stassen. Moving up to the premier FIA class will be the Castrol Ford Ranger teams of Lance Woolridge/Elvéne Vonk and Brazilians Marcos Baumgart/Kleber Cincea, while Marius and Jolinda Fourie will enter their privateer Ford Ranger.
Red-Lined Motorsport will be represented by Ernest Roberts/ Henry Köhne (Nissan Navara) and Daniel Schröder/Ryan Bland (Nissan Navara), while Clint Weston/ Gerhard Snyman and Thilo Himmel/AN Other will race Navaras in the colours of King Price Xtreme. Rounding out the class will be Ramon/Maret Bezuidenhout (Century Racing CR-5), Brian Baragwanath/Juan Mohr (Century Racing CR 6) and Johan/Sean van Staden (Elf Renault Duster).
Heading up Class T will be Johan/Werner Horn (Malalane Toyota) and Gary Bertholdt/Siegfried Rousseau (Total Excellium Toyota). Neil Woolridge Motorsport will field Ford Rangers in the hands of Jacques van Tonder/Sammy Redelinghuys, Wors Prinsloo/André Vermeulen and Malcom/Frans Kock. Richard Leeke and Zaheer Bodhanya will share the ATS Ford Ranger cabin, while Terence Marsh/Letshego Zulu will be in a lone Red-Lined Nissan Navara. Finally, husband and wife team Bernard and Minette Johnstone will tackle their first national championship in a Toyota Hilux.
Heading up the Special Vehicle category will be reigning title holders Lance Trethewey/ Adriaan Roets (LT Earthmovers BAT Venom) and John Thomson/ Maurice Zermatten (Mormond Zarco Challenger). They will face off against crews like Clint Gibson/Alaric Smith (Dirt Sport Components Stryker), Sandra Labuschagne-Jonck/Jaco Jonck (Total Agri Porter), André Fourie/Hendrikus Pienaar (BAT Spec 3), Tim Howes/Gary Campbell (Zarco Magnum) and Trace Price Moor/Shaun Braithwaite (BAT).
Class G for one-litre Can-Am Maverick Side x Side cars will see six contenders, led by champions Werner and Leon Mostert (Team Elf Renault). They will come up against teams like Christo Rose/Arno Olivier (CanAm), Theo Erasmus/Ed ward Odendaal (CanAm), Markus Labuschagne/Gert Niemand (CanAm), Dean Bradbury/Timmy Botes (Canon Rotax), Nico du Rand/Diederick Hattingh (CanAm) and Archie/Kent Rutherford (CanAm).
Racing will start at 10am on Friday with documentation and vehicle scrutineering to open at 10am in the Village Green Cricket Oval in Dullstroom. Race headquarters plus the start/finish and designated service point will be at the cricket oval. The first vehicle will tackle the 64 km qualifying race on Friday at 1 pm with the results to determine the starting order for Saturday’s race.
Starting at 8 am, teams will tackle a 157 km loop before breaking for a compulsory service halt and de-control at the service point. The race will restart at noon with competitors taking on the same loop before finishing at the oval where the podium ceremony will take place.
Enthusiasts and spectators can follow proceedings on the RallySafe App available free of charge for Android and iOS mobile devices. Spectators can enjoy all the action from the stadium section less than a kilometre from the Village Green Cricket Oval, plus various vantage points along the route on both Friday and Saturday. Access to all areas is free of charge.