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Cross Country: Ford Castrol team aims to extend title lead in KZN

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The Ford Castrol team’s start to the South African Cross Country Series at the Mpumalanga 400 in Dullstroom saw ace Lance Woolridge and co-driver Elvene Vonk take the overall title lead, while teammates Gareth Woolridge and Boyd Dreyer finished third in the new FIA class.

Keys to the new Ranger’s early-2021 Cross Country success

The Neil Woolridge Motorsport-prepared Ranger uses the same twin-turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-litre V6 motor that’s also found in Ford’s halo model, the GT supercar. In race trim it makes 300 kW, which is the limit for the new international Cross Country regulations set by world motorsport governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).

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The Pietermaritzburg-based outfit also had a strong showing in the Cross Country Class T category, in which Malcolm and Frans Kock led a trio of privateer Rangers to the finish, ranked second to fifth in the class.

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NWM optimistic about the upcoming Cross Country events

Team principal Neil Woolridge is bullish about the season ahead, promises that we haven’t even seen the new FIA-Ranger at its full potential on the local Cross Country scene, and expects championship rivals to come out swinging at the Sugarbelt 400.

“We are the first team in the world to use the new BOS dampers, so it was crucial that we got the BOS team here to help finalise the suspension set-up for the new Ranger. The results from the four days of testing have been very positive, so we’re keen to see how the new settings perform in race conditions.”

Neil Woolridge, Team Principal of the Ford Castrol Team

How to follow the Sugarbelt 400

Based in and around the Beaumont Eston Farmer’s Club in KwaZulu-Natal, the 320 km-long Sugarbelt 400 was last contested by the NWM-run Ford Castrol Cross Country team in 2015, when Lance Woolridge finished third overall.

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Unfortunately, spectators have still not been given the go-ahead to start attending the SA Cross Country events but can download the RallySafe app (free on iOS and Android devices ) to keep up to speed on the action.

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