In South Africa, X Rally Team duo face the last challenge before the Sertões
The Ford Neil Woolridge Motorsport (NWM) team enters the second half of the 2018 SA Cross Country Series (SACCS) leading the Class T championship, and their main objective at the upcoming Atlas Copco 400, on 3 and 4 August, will be to extend their advantage. For the Brazilian X Rally Team of Marcos Baumgart and Kleber Cincea (T20), their two outings so far in this years SACCS have been very successful. They earned a commendable third place at the season-opener in Dullstroom, followed by a combined third overall at the tough three-day event in Botswana.
As the fourth round of the fiercely competitive SACCS, the Atlas Copco 400 will see the teams charging through the dry and dusty maize fields around Bronkhorstspruit on the eastern border of Gauteng. "We have a very strong package this year, and it should suit the fast and flowing nature of the Highveld terrain”, says team principal Neil Woolridge.
As the current leaders of the Brazilian cross country championship in another NWM-built Ford Ranger, Baumgart and Cincea hope to continue this good form while getting to grips with the much rougher and more challenging racing conditions in SA.
“It is our last rally before the Sertões, and it will be a good test for us: to continue testing the latest updates on our Ford Ranger and to get more and more used to the terrain conditions, which are very tough and very similiar to the ones we will face in Brazil this month”, highlights Marcos Baumgart. The Sertões starts on August 18th for 3,6 thousand kilometers to reach the finish line in Fortaleza on the 26th.
The Atlas Copco 400 action kicks off on Friday, 3 August at the Soetdoring Function Venue on the outskirts of Bronkhorstspruit, with a 40km sprint qualifying loop that determines the starting order for the main race.
Competitors will complete two loops of the 170km course on Saturday, with fans being given the opportunity to meet the teams during the scheduled 20-minute service and regroup in the pits at the halfway mark, from approximately 10:30 to 12:00.
According to the organisers the route is spectator-friendly, and skirts the N4 towards the Kusile Power Station before returning to the Soetdoring Function Venue.