Red-Lined Motorsport racing with the Penta Motor Group started its 2022 South African Rally Raid adventure in fine form at Dullstroom’s treacherous Mpumalanga 400 over the weekend. A fine team effort saw all four cars cross the finish line in one of SA’s toughest events. Dutch pair Dave Klaassen and Tessa Rooth brought their Red-Lined VK56 home 12th overall and 4th in T1, ahead of fellow debutant Johan de Bruyn and Gerhard Schutte’s OdorCure VK56, Conrad Rautenbach and Wade Harris’ REVO, and Philip Botha and Riaan Greyling in the Penta VK56.
“We are very happy with four finishes and yet another 100% Red-Lined finish,” team boss Terence Marsh admitted. “It was always going to be a really tough event, with Friday’s forested Belfast loops very different to Saturday’s mountainous, rocky and often steep Tonteldoos loops. “Persistent heavy rain over the escarpment made it even more treacherous out there, but all four of our Red-Lined crews all made it through thanks to an extreme team effort.”
Dutch crew Klaassen and Rooth had a clean run on Friday and then fought back without a windscreen and other damage after a small roll-over on Saturday morning. “This race was an eye-opener!” Dave Klaassen pointed out. “We’ve never raced in conditions like this, or in such technical and changing conditions. “Our Red-Lined VK56 Evo 2 took it in its stride, even after we put it on its side and we are happy to have made it through this amazing adventure. “Thanks so much to the team — that was awesome!”
Circuit racer Johan de Bruyn impressed on his Rally Raid debut aboard his OdorCure VK56 with Gerhard Schutte’s steady hand at his side. “Overall, we had a good clean run in something I am delighted to have achieved on a really tough National Rally Raid debut.”
Philip Botha meanwhile extended his incredible 100% Rally Raid finishing rate to 17 races on the trot, alongside Riaan Greyling this time around in the Penta VK56 Evo 2, despite taking a wheel off the car during Friday’s stage. “That was a scare!” Philip admitted. “We had to replace the broken wishbone in pouring rain in the field, which was quite a job, but we got it done and brought it home for the team to sort properly for Day 2. “That went pretty well! “Thanks so much to the lads for a heroic overnight effort to turn our race car around.”
It was a similar story for Conrad Rautenbach and Wade Harris’ and the Dragon Energy Red-Lined REVO, which came back from a dramatic Friday to finish an impressive Saturday run. “We hit a rock hard on Friday and damaged the rear of the car. “The team pulled off a minor coup in an all-nighter to turn the car around to allow us to start Saturday morning. “Day 2 went much better for us – we were the quickest T1 car during Saturdays first loop before we experienced some power steering issues on loop 2, but we managed to bring it home after a most confidence inspiring day of racing.”
“Hats off to our entire Red-Lined team, not only to our four intrepid crews but also to our technical team for an incredible team effort in working right through Friday evening to ensure yet another 100% Red-Lined finish,” Team Principal Terence Marsh concluded. “It was a really tough event with multiple curve balls thrown at us over the weekend ,but as a team we weathered the storm and got the job done! I am extremely proud of the guys!”
The South African Rally Raid Championship now heads to another escarpment challenge at the Sugarbelt 400 on the foothills of the Drakensberg at Eston in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands over the weekend of 29/30 April.
*Red-Lined Motorsport Adventures competes with premium strategic partners, the Penta Motor Group, BFGoodrich, Motul, Dragon Energy, Jonnesway Tools, Expand a Sign and Wheel Collision.
Resource: Motorsport Media (www.motorsportmedia.co.za) & Red-Lined Motorsport