Ford Ranger Victorious In Global Debut
(Ford Motor Company of South Africa Press Release)
* A weekend of firsts for Team Ford Racing
* Ford Rangers first and second on global racing debut
* Lance Woolridge becomes youngest ever driver to win a national championship Cross Country race
PRETORIA, South Africa -- The new Ford Ranger enjoyed a dream debut on its global racing introduction with a victory first time out. Round 1 of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, the RFS 400, took place in the Magaliesburg area this past weekend with Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable piloting the new Ranger to victory ahead of teammates Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst.
Woolridge and Huxtable set the pace early on, claiming pole position after Friday’s prologue session, in so doing Woolridge became the youngest ever drive to top the time sheets in a national championship prologue. The pair continued their strong momentum on Saturday where they drove a faultless race, once again rewriting the record books with Lance becoming the youngest driver to stand on the top step of the podium in the Donaldson Cross Country Championship (formerly the Absa Off Road Championship).
“It was a dream weekend for us. The car is fantastic,” said an elated Lance after the race. “The first time out you never know what to expect from the car and you often run into teething problems, but we had a trouble free run throughout the weekend. We couldn’t be happier.”
Teammates Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst struggled with fuel pressure problems in Friday’s prologue session, resulting in a fifth place grid slot when the session concluded. Starting further down the field they had to contend with the dust created by those ahead, nevertheless they maintained their composure and ultimately worked their way up to a second place finish.
“We did experience some minor troubles. We battled with low fuel pressure all weekend. After thinking we had found the problem on Friday evening, it reared its head again shortly after the start on Saturday morning. Of course these are all opportunities for us to learn and further develop the car for the season ahead,” explained Visser.
Despite the minor niggles experienced by Visser and Badenhorst both Rangers were on the pace. This weekend’s race was a culmination of two years of hard work and dedication.
“I would like to congratulate both Lance and Chris on a fantastic debut. The team have really risen to the occasion. We received input from our Ford colleagues around the globe in developing the car, our sponsors continue to keep us on the road and the team have rallied together to make this dream a reality. Well done to everybody,” said Team Manager Neil Woolridge.
Team Ford Racing’s efforts would not be possible without the support of its dedicated sponsors: Time Freight, Castrol, Dynotherm, Motorvia, Sign Solutions and Tiger Wheel & Tyre.