Sports activities Editor
FORMER Dakar Rally rookie winner and High-10 finisher, Conrad Rautenbach, yesterday returned to the South African motor racing scene.
He took half within the opening day of the two-day South African Cross Nation Auto Spherical 1 at Dullstroom in Mpumalanga.
Rautenbach was racing alongside Riaan Greyling within the Penta and Motul-branded Purple-Lined VK56.
And, chatting with The Saturday Herald yesterday, simply earlier than the beginning of day one in every of racing, Rautenbach stated he was very excited to be again racing in South Africa.
“We’ve got had some high quality testing, and growth, over the previous few weeks and I took my time to settle in at Barberspan.
“I’m actually wanting ahead to racing this superior automotive towards a world-class subject in South Africa this yr!
“It’s the primary race of the South African nationwide off-road championship and we’re in Dullstroom.
‘’It’s like a trout fishing space, similar to Nyanga (in Zimbabwe), and it’s very stunning however this weekend is all about racing.
“We’re excited to begin the season. I’m with the brand new group this yr Purple-Lined. They’ve executed Dakar (Rally) a couple of instances and they’re working 4 automobiles and I’m excited to begin the championship with them.
“There’s an enormous competitors, there’s 25 of the highest class automobiles so it’s actually, actually good. It’s an enormous, huge subject with Toyotas and the Fords and the Century racing.
The competitors may be very sturdy, (there’re) a number of guys and I feel there are about 5 or 6 Dakar Rally finishers on this race alone so it’s a really sturdy competitors and I’m wanting ahead to it and see the way it goes with the brand new group.”
Rautenbach, a former African motor rally champion, will compete in all seven rounds, which make up the 2021 SACCS calendar.
The Purple-Lined Motorsport Adventures in January partnered with former World Rally Championship driver Rautenbach for the 2021 South African Cross Nation Championship.
A veteran of 56 World Rally Championship rallies, Rautenbach made his Junior World Rally Championship debut on the 2004 Monte Carlo and was a daily JWRC podium finisher over the next seasons.
He additionally received the 2007 FIA African Rally Championship, earlier than stepping up for 2 seasons of top-class WRC, the place he racked up a number of top-10 finishes in 2008 and 2009.
Rautenbach then received the 2010 South African Rally Championship and added a second African title in 2011.
He later drove with Toyota within the South African Cross Nation collection, successful the 2016 Gold 400.
Rautenbach delivered top-of-the-line Dakar debut performances in recent times with ninth general and received the Rookie of the Yr award in 2017.
He returned to Dakar in 2020 and got here dwelling fourth within the prototype PH Zephyr Gentle Automobile.
Now Rautenbach returns to the wheel of a Purple-Lined VK56 for the opening spherical of the South African Cross Nation Sequence whereas additionally engaged on the event of the all-new Purple-Lined Revo, which he’ll step as much as in anger, as soon as the group is glad together with his race readiness later within the season.
Purple-Lined Motorsport Adventures competes with premium strategic companions, the Penta Motor Group, BFGoodrich, Motul, Dragon Vitality, Jonnesway Instruments, Develop a Signal and Wheel Collision.
2021 SACCS calendar
26-27 March – Dullstroom 400 Dullstroom, Mpumalanga
21-22 Could – Sugarbelt 400 Eston, KwaZulu-Natal
18-20 June – Toyota 1000 Desert Race Upington, Northern Cape
13 August – Vryburg 400 Vryburg, North West
14 August – Vryburg 400 Vryburg, North West
1-2 October – Nampo 400 Bothaville, Free State
13 November – Parys 400 Parys, Free Stat