Fenix Rally 2023: Leg 6 - Almost done!


The penultimate stage of the race was long and difficult, but also spectacular

Fenix Rally 2023 entered its penultimate day with a very long stage northern from the city of Douz. Despite some modification near the city, where the strong winds did not stop, the competitors tested the dunes near the famous Star Wars village, fast gravel tracks on the east part of Chott El Jerid and some mountain roads towards the finish.

In the car class, Rika Van Den Brink (Mitsubishi) was the man who set the best time in the stage. The pilot from Nederland finished with some 23 minutes advance to Tarvo Klaasimae from Estonia with his extreme prototype. Another “trophy” guy – Hardo Mere completed the daily podium. The pilots from the Baltic country are undisputed leaders in the overall, as Klaasimae has 36 minutes in front of Mere. Third in the general ranking is Van Den Brink, but 3 hours behind the fastest

Arunas Lekavicius (Can-AM) from Lithuania claimed the stage win in the SSV class. He finished 3:15 minutes in front of Eric Schiano from Niger (Polaris) and a minute and a half more to Maciej Stolarski (Can-Am). Stolarski is the new overall leader, as Dalius Olechnavicus (Can-Am) finished in 8th place, 19 minutes behind the leader and is with 10 minutes passive in the overall.

A walk in the park for Sebastien Tocaben (France, KTM) in the bike class, who claimed 5 minutes to Matthew Gird (South Africa, KTM). Tocaben is now 6 minutes in front of Gird, so the battle will be until the very end of Fenix Rally 2023.

In the quad class, Polaris Polska Racing Team saw a triple stage win. Rafal Jawien can not stop to be the fastest on the stages, this time with almost 12 minutes in front of Marcin Wilkolek. Third for the day was Ireneusz Ostafin. Jawien is undoubted leader in the overall, with a huge 1-hour advance to Gaetan Martinez from France (4th place for the day).

Finally, in the truck class, which is dominated by German drivers, Matthias Koerber (MAN) was with the best time. In the general standing leader is still Steffen Braun (Unimog), hours in front of his rivals.

The last stage of Fenix Rally 2023 will finally don’t have any modification, as the weather in the region now is good. The competitors will face 133 kilometers against the clock, after there will be known the new tittle-holders of the desert marathon.


Source RBI / Fenix Rally

Nkomazi 400 2023: The rally returns to Malelane after a 6 year break.

This race is valid for the South African Rally Raid Championship

Family fun and racing action this weekend, 24 and 25 March 2023 in Malelane.

National team such as Toyota Gazoo Racings’ Giniel de Villiers and Henk Lategan, Red-Lined Motorsport Adventure, Ford Performance, Schalk Burger Motorsport, PS Laser, Century Racing and many other teams will participate in the rally.

Lowvelders and other supporters will be spoiled with world class rally action this weekend, 24 and 25 March in Malelane. The streets of Malelane will come alive the week leading up to the South African Rally Raid Championship season opener race taking place at Paradise Creek Lodge, Malelane on 24 and 25 March.

Rally fans and petrolheads alike will be spoiled for choice at the rally. The world-renowned teams will all be present and competing. The likes of Toyota Gazoo Racing which includes Giniel de Villiers and Henk Lategan, Century Racing’s Brian Baragwanath and Red-Lined Motorsport Adventure’s Chris Visser will all form part of the formidable line-up. To shake things up, Ford Performance, Red-Lined Motorsport and various other teams will now compete in the T1+ category.

To top this off, Malelane locals, Johan and Werner Horn will compete in their T1+ Hilux as part of the #TeamHiluxRallyRaid team, proudly Malalane Toyota and proudly local. Eben Basson, hailing from Komatipoort and who recently completed his first Dakar rally will compete in the T1 category. Eben and his navigator, Leander Pienaar, will need to pull out all the stops in order to defend their 2022 title. Teammates, Fouche and Bertus Blignaut from Witbank will also compete in their T1 Hilux. This is the brother duos second season, and with their no fear attitude, there is no limit to what they can achieve. The passion, energy and comradery in this team is unmatched.

According to Johan Horn Snr the team worked around the clock to ensure that the route and Designated Service Park (DSP) area is repaired after the recent floods. “Competitors can expect a variety of terrain, including plantations, sugar cane fields, bushveld, rocky, technical sections and long, fast straights. The route preparation took our teams more than 8 weeks due to the floods and roads that has not been in service for many years. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the landowners and community for their support, commitment and willingness to assist, without you, this race would not be possible.”

“#TeamHiluxRallyRaid invites the public from near and far to join in the action. Entry to the DSP area at Paradise Creek where all the teams will set-up and the start and finish is situated, is absolutely free, there will be jumping castles for the kids, food stalls and a beer garden with live entertainment by Brian and Anton for the adults. The action will start on Friday, 24 March from 11h00 when the flag will drop for a 68km Qualifying race. The results of the Qualifier will determine the starting order for the Main race which consists of two loops of approximately 173km each. The main race will start on Saturday, 25 March at 08h00 – don’t be late, or you will miss it!” Horn concludes.

For more information follow #TeamHiluxRallyRaid on Facebook and Instagram @TeamHiluxRallyRaid.

Source Team Hilux Rally Raid

Nkomazi 400 2023: Red-Lined ready to tame Nkomazi bush

This race is valid for the South African Rally Raid Championship

New cars and excitement ahead of new rally raid season

Red-Lined Motorsport together with the Penta Motor Group is raring to go with a four-car team for the Nkomazi 400 opening round of the South African Rally Raid season at Malelane in Mpumalanga on the 24th and 25th of March.

“It’s been a long break since a hugely successful final round of 2022 season in Parys last November and Red-Lined Motorsport simply cannot wait to start the 2023 South African National Rally Raid season,” team boss Terence Marsh confirmed. “It’s also the start of an exciting new era for us as a team and we bring several novelties to the Nkomazi 400, so we are looking forward to it.”

Biggest news is that stalwarts Chris Visser and Albertus Venter will be giving their all-new premier FIA class Dragon Energy powered Red-Lined REVO T1+ its national championship debut. T1 winners on the last day of the 2022 season, Visser and Venter enjoyed a strong and trouble free T1+ shakedown at last weekend’s Stella regional event and are ready to continue with the development process of this all-new racing machine.

Johan de Bruyn and his seasoned notes man Gerhard Schutte, who also won the class at the opening day of last year’s finale, step up to race their brand-new FIA T1 class OdorCure powered Red Lined REVO for the first time in a National at Malelane. They too enjoyed a positive shakedown in last weekend’s regional and de Bruyn is more than just motivated to commence his new season as he ended last year, fighting for wins in the hotly contested T1 class.

There’s a change aboard the ultimate race finish record setting Penta powered Red-Lined VK56 for 2023. Philip Botha continues at the wheel of his familiar beast, but he now has brother Nicholaas in the hot seat for this first event as regular notes man Roelof Janse van Vuren attends to business commitments. Philip remarkably finished every one the first 23 races he started since commencing his rally raid career three years ago before crashing out at the final event of 2022. He will be looking to once again to find his pace and consistency and build on his incredible statistics since debut.

Dutch pair Dave Klaassen and Tessa Rooth return to South Africa to commence their national season fresh off a wonderful debut finish at the 2023 Dakar with a fourth overall in the T1 class and second overall of the Dakar rookies in their Daklapack powered Red-Lined VK56. Dave and Tessa consistently picked up their pace during the course of last season and their Dakar experience will certainly play a part in their progress this year.

“We have not raced at Malelane for six years, but we’re looking forward to returning to what is a really demanding and technical event in the Mpumalanga bush,” Terence Marsh concluded. “It’s another big adventure for us with new cars, new combinations and an exciting new era for Red-Lined!”


*Red-Lined Motorsport competes with premium strategic partners, the Penta Motor Group, BFGoodrich, Motul, Dragon Energy, PentaSure, OMP, ExpandaSign and Wheel Collision.


Source Red-Lined Motorsport via Motorsport Media

Fenix Rally 2023:Leg 4 - The marathon

Strong winds made the stage very difficult

Fenix Rally 2023 faced the first part of the marathon challenge, where the competitors drove the stage to a dedicated desert bivouac, where they spent the night without the help of the assistance crews. However, the initial plan was to drive almost 140 kilometers in the sands, but because of heavy winds in the areas, the route has to be modified – not in terms of length, but using different tracks, for safety reasons.
The windy day was very good for Matthew Gird in the bike class. The pilot from South Africa managed to set the best time, finishing 5 minutes in front the French rider Sebastien Tocaben. Third for the day was another Frenchman – Frederic Reinheimer, so we saw a triple win for KTM. Tocaben is still the leader in the overall, 3 minutes and a half in front of Gird.
Rafal Jawien was once again unbeatable in the quad class. The pilot of Polaris Polska Racing Team finished with a lead of 6 minutes to Nicolas Martinez from France (Polaris), and some 10 seconds more to his teammate and compatriot Marcin Wilkolek. Jawien is provisional leader with over half an hour to Gaetan Martinez from France (4th place for the day).
Poland was the country triumphing also in the SSV class of the marathon stage, as Jacek Zak (Polaris) was the fastest on the windy track. Second for the day was his fellow countryman Maciej Stolarski (Can-Am) and the third place went to Fredereic Henricy (Polaris). In the general rankings, to Dalius Olechnavicus (Can-Am, 5th place for the day) from Lithuania is still on the top, 4:32 minutes in front of Henricy.
In the car class Doncho Canev (Suzuki proto) claimed his second stage win from Fenix Rally 2023. The pilot from Bulgaria had more than one minute advance to Mindaugas Povilaitis (Toyota) from Lithuania. Daily podium was completed by the dutchman Rik Van Den Brink (Mitsubishi). However, overall “king”, with more than comfortable 42 minutes advance to the closest competitor is sitting Tarvo Klaasimae from Estonia (MOS1 proto), despite his 5th place in the stage.
Among the trucks in Fenix Rally 2023, Steffen Braun (Germany, Unimog) once again was fastest on the stage, with some 9 minutes advance to his compatriot Matthias Koerber (MAN). Third best time was for Klaas Steinhoefel (MAN), also from Germany. Braun continues to be on top of the rankings.
Leg 5, which is the second part of the marathon stage, will lead the participants to the city of Douz, where will be the last camp of Fenix Rally 2023. Once again, the orga crew has to modified the stage, because the wind storm in the area continues. Thus, instead of the initially planed 121 kilometers, the competitors will drive 60 kms, finishing south from the city.



Source RBI / Fenix Rally

Fenix Rally 2023: Leg 3 - At full throttle trough the pistes

 The second loop around Ksar Ghilane was fast and tricky

The third leg of Fenix Rally 2023 offered not so heavy route, mainly dominated by WRC type gravel pistes with some tricky and curvy parts in east and north of Ksar Ghilane. The stage was modified and instead the full 240 kilometers, the competitors have to drive 140.
Starting with the SSV buggies, Maciej Stolarski (Can-Am) was the fastest driver on four wheels. The Polish pilot took the daily win with near minute and half advance to Dalius Olechnavicus (Can-Am) from Lithuania. Third best for day was Frederic Henricy from France with Polaris, 2:19 minutes behind the winner. In the overall, leader for the moment is Olechnavicus, more than 5 minutes in front of Henricy.
In the car class, the best time was posted by Rik Van Den Brink (Mitsubishi). The pilot from Nederland “stole” only 20 seconds from Aivaras Kavaliauskas (Lithuania, Hummer). The “bronze” from the stage went to Tarvo Klaasimae from Estonia (MOS1 proto). In the general ranking, Klaasimae has huge advance of 40 minutes to his compatriot Hardo Mere (5th place for the day) and the top 3 is completed by Rik Van Den Brink, with almost one hour and half behind the leader.
In the “light” part of Fenix Rally 2023, the quad riders continue to be faster than the bikers. One again Rafal Jawien from Poland posted the best time. Second place went to Gaetan Martinez from France and third for the day was Ireneusz Ostafin from Poland. In short – triple stage triumph for Polaris. Provisional leader is Jawien, with almost half an hour advance to Martinez. Last place on the provisional podium is for Martin Wilkolek (Polaris, 5th for the day).
Fastest biker for the day was Sebastien Tocaben from France with KTM, who finished almost 8 minutes in front of Matthew Gird (South Africa, KTM). One more French pilot made it well, as the third place went to Frederic Reinheimer, also with KTM. Tocaben is leading the provisional classification, almost 8 minutes and a half in front to the reigning champion of Fenix Rally Matthew Gird. The third position is for Reinheimer.
As for the trucks, Steffen Braun (Germany, Unimog) won the stage around Ksar Ghilane, which helped him to stay on the top in the rankings. His fellow countryman Matthias Koerber (MAN) was second fastest, but is holding the third place in the overall. Second in the provisional ranking is another German – Carsten Felten (4th place in the stage).
Leg 4 of Fenix Rally will mark the first part of the marathon stage, where the competitors will spend the night in a desert camp without assistance. However, the forecast in the region predicts strong winds, which lead to modification of the stage for safety reasons. Instead of the initial route through the dunes, the race will drive outside them, because the winds will make the visibility very low, which can be dangerous for the competitors.


Source RBI / Fenix Rally