Red-Lined Motorsport continued its perfect record on its 2019 South African Cross Country racing adventure when all five of the team’s FIA Class Nissan Navara T1 race pickups once again made it to the finish of a gruelling Berg 400 on KwaZulu-Natal’s Drakensberg foothills over the weekend to continue the team’s 100% finishing record in the national championship.
Cross Country racing rookie Ernest Roberts once again proved to be the find of the season alongside experienced notes man Riaan Greyling as he brought his JCP Roofing Red-Lined Navara home fourth in the FIA class behind the trio of mighty Dakar Hiluxes and ahead of his Namibian teammates Jaco van Dyk and Michel Rust’s 24-7 Race Fuels machine.
Dubai-based Brits Thomas Bell and Patrick McMurren meanwhile extended their four-race international finishing streak to five races on the trot aboard their Dragon Energy Red-Lined Navara, followed by Terence Marsh racing with arch adventurer Letshego Zulu, wife of the late Gugu at his side in the Motul Navara and Schalk Burger and Elvene Vonk’s similar King Price Extreme machine.
Roberts and Greyling once again impressed as the man with just two national off road races under his belt, overcame a gentle roll-over to add a second best of the rest to finish behind that Hilux Dakar machine in the Drakensberg, stroking their JCP Roofing Red-Lined Navara home to a fantastic fourth. “The Berg was a really tough race,” Ernest admitted. “We had our work cut out for us but Red-Lined once again prepared us a brilliant Navara to allow us to keep our incredible finish run going since joining the team — thanks to everyone for another brilliant weekend of adventure and racing!”
Namibian rally exponents van Dyk and Rust continued to get to grips with the different demands of Cross Country racing in their 24-7 Race Fuels Red-Lined Navara. “That’s four finishes from four starts since joining the Red-Lined team,” Jaco pointed out. “Our Navara ran like a dream and this race was a proper adventure with truly challenging terrain and navigation — we are getting to grips with Cross Country racing too, which is good — we can’t wait for the Desert Race.”
Bell and McMurren added the Berg to their Dragon Energy Red-Lined Navara’s Dakar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Moroccan race finishes this year with a fine sixth in the FIA class. “We have now finished five gruelling races on three continents,” Thomas pointed out. “It’s been an incredible adventure and we are so proud of what we and Red-Lined Motoring Adventures have achieved — what a wonderful story!”
Marsh and Zulu, who returned to the Red-Lined Celebrity Hot Seat for a second shot, enjoyed an incredible adventure. “Holy Toledo — trying to manage a 5 car team and race at the same time is not simple!” Terence explained. “The race proved an adventure for Letshego and me — we lost brakes on Saturday and I had to use the gearbox to slow us down — it was quite hair raising, but the team fixed the car and we went well from there to get all five cars home — kudos to an incredible team!”
Like their Namibian teammates, former rally driver and navigator Burger and Vonk continued in their quest to master the somewhat different demands of cross country car racing. “We had our challenges today,” Schalk concluded. “But we made it to the finish once again and we are learning the nuances every mile and are enjoying a special adventure as we build up to our Dakar dream.”
Red-Lined now prepares for a four-car double adventure at the biggest race of the South African Cross Country Auto calendar, the Botswana Toyota 1000 Desert Race in June, with Saturday and Sunday’s legs each counting as an individual race in the championship.