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Ford truimps in KZN Dealer 450

2014-04-07 15:29

FORD ONE-TWO VICTORY: Manfred Schroder and Japie Badenhorst led a Ford one-two victory at the Toyota Dealer 450, round two of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship. Image: FORD

Charmaine Fortune

PIETERMARITZBURG, South Africa - Ford took a one-two victory with drivers Manfred Schroder and Japie Badenhorst leading the way at the Toyota Dealer 450 in Mooi Rover, Pietermaritzburg.

Ford’s Manfred Schroder and Japie Badenhorst scored a convincing win from pole position, ahead of team mates Gary Bertholdt and Siegfried Rousseau.

Brothers Johan and Werner Horn (Toyota Hilux), who participated in their second race in the premier Class T category, claimed the final podium spot.


The race, round two of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, saw Toyota dominate the RFS 450, the opening round of the series in Harrismith. Toyota scored a one-two in the RFS event, with with Schroder/Badenhorst grabbing the final podium place for Ford.

Schroder was standing in for the second time for injured regular driver Chris Visser. Schroder/Badenhorst won the qualifying race, by 1min38sec ahead of Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy.

Schroder who, prior to stepping into the breach after Visser underwent neck surgery, last raced at national level six years ago, said: “We never had a problem throughout the weekend and Japie did a magnificent job on an event that was tough for co-drivers.”  

Schroder/Badenhorst finished 2mins23 ahead of Bertholdt/Rousseau who started sixth on the road after a disappointing qualifying race. Taylor/Murphy dropped out due to suspension damage after hitting a rock and Jason Venter and Vince van Allemann rolled their Toyota Hilux.

The Horn brothers started behind Bertholdt/Rousseau and gradually worked their way up the pecking order to finish ahead of former circuit racer Hennie de Klerk and Johann Smalberger in the BMW X3. It was a best national finish for the pair.

Toyota’s Deon Venter and Ian Palmer finished fifth who earned honours in Class S for vehicles with an engine capacity of up to four litres with solid axle rear suspension.

Venter said: “We could not have had a better car. With a better start position we would have been able to run with the V8 cars in Class T.”


Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie, after a second place on the RFS 450, finished sixth. They were followed by a trio of Nissan Navara entries - Mike Whitehouse/George Myburgh, Terence Marsh/AJ Venter and Archie Rutherford/Gerhard Schutte.

Rutherford/Schutte were second in Class S with Louw de Bruin and Riaan Greyling (Ford Ranger), completing the top 10 and taking third.

Unofficial scoring sees Schroder and Badenhorst leading the 2014 championship.

The next round of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship is the Nkomazi 450, in Malalane, Mpumalanga on May 16 and 17.

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