LUCKY GUYS FROM NORTH WEST: Vince van Allerrman (left) and Jason Venter with the Toyota bakkie that took them to the prize of a free 2016 Dakar Rally entry. Image: Keino Davie
HARRISMITH, Free State – Two North West youngsters set up the experience of a lifetime on March 28 2015 by winning the Dakar Challenge run in conjunction with the RFS Endurance race.
That’s Round 1 of the SA National Cross-Country championship.
The prize for Jason Venter and Vince van Allemann is free entry into the 2016 still so-named Dakar Rally, the toughest motor race on the planet run in South America.
There was a huge cheer from their supporters when the Toyota Hilux pair crossed the finish line fourth overall in the Production Vehicle category.
Venter and van Allemann beat off challenges from seven other crews to clinch the opportunity to race in South America. They finished 7min13 ahead of Rómulo Branco and co-driver João Serôdio and a Nissan Navara.
A nightmare day saw Century Racing CR3 crew Colin Matthews and Rodney Burke slip to third after winning the qualifying race to determine grid positions.
A string of mechanical problems that started on the first of two 251 loops that made up the race ruined their hopes of a South American trip.
Fourth place went to another Nissan Navara crew - Sean Reitz and Gerhard Schutte.