South African Rally Raid Championship Rounds 6 & 7 Report
Double race win as Red-Lined rules FIA T1
Red-Lined Motorsport racing together with the Penta Group ended the 2022 South African Rally Raid season on an extreme high in treacherous conditions at Parys in the Free State on Saturday. Not only did the team win both events, but the lads had a podium lockout on the Friday and then followed it up with a 1-2 on the Saturday, to wrap up an incredible weekend for all.
“All I can say, is what a weekend!” an elated Red-Lined team boss Terence Marsh commented. “We honestly could not have scripted it any better ourselves. “Not only did we win both days, but we dominated the Parys double header event with all three Red-Lined products on Friday’s podium as well as all five cars once again coming home on both days of what was another treacherous SA Rally-Raid outing.”
It all started with Friday's round 6 which was run in pouring rain and in wet and muddy conditions that demanded the race to be eventually shortened. That did not deter Rally Raid rookie Johan de Bruyn and his seasoned notes man Gerhard Schutte from storming to a sensational maiden FIA T1 victory in their PentaSure VK56.
The Red-Lined cup quite literally flowed over in the pouring rain. Chris Visser and Albertus Venter chased home close behind in yet another FIA T1 podium in their Dragon Energy REVO. Nicolas Pienaar and Carl Swanepoel’s Super Energi Race Fuels VK50 made it all three Red-Lined product offerings in the top three on a dream podium for the team.
Penta VK56 duo Philip Botha Roelof and Janse Van Vuren meanwhile made it yet another finish in their ever-growing 100% finishing rate. Dubai desert man, Thomas Bell and local navigator Wade Harris had to dig their TBR REVO out of the mud in a heroic effort to see all five entries home in yet another 100% finish for the team.
“What can I say except thank you to Red-Lined Motorsport for an incredible race car as always and to my hugely qualified navigator Gerhard for being on point all the way,” circuit racing refugee Johan de Bruyn explained. “It was wet and muddy, but huge fun and a wonderful way to wrap up my maiden season and our time with the VK56. “We now step up to our new Red-Lined REVO next year. “We cannot wait!”
It was however nowhere near over for the Red-Lined team, which repeated its incredible Friday result with another spectacular showing in Saturday’s round 7, which was once again raced in the most treacherous of wet and muddy conditions. This time it was Visser and Venter who reversed the order to pilot their Dragon Energy REVO home to a brilliant win over the PentaSure VK56 men of de Bruyn and Schutte.
The sand man, Thomas Bell and his wing man Wade Harris were the third car home in the day's stage which produced Tom’s best result yet on that muddy SA soil. However once combining their qualifying time they would drop to a close fourth place overall for the day. Bell and Harris finished ahead of fifth placed Pienaar and Swanepoel, with Botha and van Vuren coming home sixth. The Penta boys quite incredibly went on to record another 100% finishing ratio for the championship for the second year in a row with their overall record now sitting at 54 consecutive stages and 22 race events since their rally-raid debut.
“What a perfect way to end our 2022 SA Rally-Raid season,” Chris Visser reported. “We had a great year developing the Red-Lined REVO into a FIA T1 race winner. “Now it’s time to move on and we look forward to chasing overall honours with the all-new Red-Lined REVO+ in 2023. “Thanks to the team for a splendid year, it's onward and upward from here!”
“We honestly could not have asked for a better weekend,” Terence Marsh concluded. “In our world it is just not possible to write a story like this one! “Parys brought our fifth podium on the trot and another victory for the REVO, a first national win for Johan and Gerhard and their VK56, a first ever podium for Nicolas Pienaar and Carl Swanepoel, and then a first top ten overall for Thomas Bell and Wade Harris!”
“Add five out of five finishes on both days and three cars on the Friday podium with the Team Award to boot on both days. “This is the stuff dreams are made of! “We could honestly not do this without our incredible management and technical team, and I am extremely grateful to everyone at every level for all the hard work and dedication throughout 2022.”
“Now we can look ahead to a brand-new Red-Lined era in 2023 with huge confidence and optimism for the new season and the adventures that lie ahead us. “Bring on 2023!”
Source Red-Lined Motorsport via Motorsport Media