Natalie takes plunge into 4x4
South African Paralympics swimming star Natalie du Toit is about to experience the thrill of off-road racing.
She will swop her swimming costume for racing gear to co-drive for Archie Rutherford in Nissan Navara in the Human Auto 400 near Thaba 'Nchu over October 19/20, 2012. Ex-South African cricketer Fanie de Villiers and ex-Springbok rugby player Stefan Terblanche have also partnered Rutherford thought their turns were in the Sun City 400 and the 4x4 Mega World 400.
Du Toit retired from competitive sport after the 2012 London Paralympics, ending a successful career which saw her become one of the world's most recognisable athletes. Since losing her left leg below the knee in a scooter crash on the way home from a training session in 2001 she has been described as "one of the most “nfluential figures in the history of disability sport".
Du Toit was also honoured with a Laureus Sportsperson of the Year award in 2010 for “breaking down the barriers between disabled and able-bodied sport".
Regent Racing team principal Terence Marsh said: “Natalie’s courage and determination have been an inspiration to people throughout the world. We were delighted when she accepted our invitation to co-drive with Archie on the Human Auto 400.
“We have no doubt Natalie will be a hit with competitors and off-road enthusiasts alike. Introducing sports personalities to off-road racing is part of our campaign to increase an already healthy profile and awareness for the sport. This time I believe we have hit the jackpot."
READY TO RACE
Du Toit, as was the case with De Villiers and Terblanche, won’t be thrown into the deep end on race day. She will spend time in the Navara and be shown the finer points of navigation by regular co-drivers George Smalberger and Matthew Carlson.
The Human Auto 400 race HQ, the start/finish and the service park will all be at the Black Mountain Lodge Hotel in Thaba 'Nchu. Public entry to these areas and spectator viewing points along the route will be free.