Four entries all set for Parys double finale
Four Red-Lined teams are heading back to the Free State to close off its 2020 South African Cross Country Championship at the Parys double header over the 23-24 October weekend.
Regular FIA Class Dragon Energy VK56 duo Ernest Roberts and Henry Kohne will be joined by rookie crew Philip Botha and Roelof Janse van Vuren, who make their national debut aboard their new Penta backed FIA Class Red Lined VK50. Terence Marsh and Letshego Zulu are meanwhile out to win the T Class championship in their Red-Lined VK50. And it’s all change in the Rutherford family Dragon Energy powered Red-Lined Development Team Side by Side Can Am.
Roberts and Kohne will be looking for a clean run in the Dragon Energy VK56, following a troubled last two races after they hit qualifying issues both times. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be going for broke. “We had top five pace in the last two races, but things never quite went our way,” Ernest explained. “The plan this weekend is to qualify well and follow that up with decent results over the two days of racing.
“That needs a good strategy — a fast and safe Friday and then to finish both race days without too much trouble. “If we can get that right, there’s no reason why we cannot deliver top five finishes on both days. “We’re ready — let’s do this!”
There is however a fair amount of pressure on messers Marsh and Zulu, who arrive at the Vaal River town trailing the T Class title leaders by all of two points. “We are going all out to win that championship,” Terence warned. “That does not mean flat out though — we need to deliver a balanced performance all weekend.
“So the plan is to bank a good result on Friday and then come home in strong podium positions on both race days. “Most important however, is to not have to get out of that VK50 for two days — no mistakes, no punctures. “Sure, that’s easier said than done, but that’s the plan. “It’s a double adventure this weekend — bring it on!”
It’s a big weekend for Penta pair Botha and Janse van Vuren and their new Penta Red Lined VK50. “We are rank amateurs — we are new to racing and have a limited motorsport background,” Philip pointed out. “So the aim is to learn and gain experience — to finish qualifying and then bring it home both days of racing and bag 900 km worth of quality experience.”
The duo finished both the recent regional races they entered to learn the ropes. “Still, this national double header is sure to be a baptism of fire. “We’re approaching it with equal measures of excitement, fear and butterflies in the tummy!”
Regular young driver Kent Rutherford is sitting this one out as he writes matric exams, so he and trusty notes man Gerhard Schutte have stepped aside. Which means that SA Cross Country’s larger than life president, Kent’s dad Archie is back at the wheel of the Dragon Energy Red-Lined Development team Can Am to open the next chapter of the Rutherford racing dynasty.
Younger brother Justin steps up to read the notes for his dad, just as Kent did a couple of years ago. “I do not want to get out of the car at any time this weekend,” Archie barked. “Justin has been preparing and I’ve told him no mistakes. “But I am really looking forward to racing with my second born for the first time this weekend!”
The two-day Parys double header starts with Friday’s 14km qualifying followed by a 400km race. Saturday once again starts with a 14km qualifying before another full 400km race. Both races each count as independent races as the penultimate and final rounds of the SA national Cross Country championship.