Ford take one-two finish in Parys 400

It is said that 20 minutes after the second car rolled off the production line, the first race took place. Ford being the first manufacturer to introduce the production line, one can only speculate that the first race was in between two of their vehicles.

This was mirrored during the Parys 400, the final round of the 2019 South African Cross Country Series, which I attended recently. Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable was joined by reigning Brazilian cross country champions Marcos Baumgart and Kleber Cincea in Parys for the final round and ended it by securing their first Class T victory on South African soil. Although Lance Wooldridge and Ward Huxtable crossed the finish line second in their Castrol-sponsored Neil Woolridge Motorsport (NWM) Ford Ranger, the recently crowned double champions, Woolridge and Huxtable still managed to set an unbroken record of podium results for the year, comprising five wins and two second-place finishes.

“We’ve had a fantastic year, results like this don’t happen very often and having won all but one of the races this year, taking the Class T championship, earning three Manufacturers Awards and finishing second overall in the Production Vehicle Championship against the FIA cars has been very special. I have to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to Ford, Castrol and all of our sponsors and partners who have made this possible. Thanks also go to our entire team. The drivers and navigators, along with all of the technicians have done a sterling job, and it’s just been a great year all round,” Neil Woolridge, team principal, Neil Woolridge Motorsport.

While the racing drivers competing on the day put up an amazing display of driving and were focused on their championships, the event came to a complete halt as everyone in attendance filled the dedicated tent to watch the Rugby World Cup final. After sitting side by side through the 80 minutes of dominant play by the Springboks, the drivers, navigators and crews quickly jumped up and returned to the parc fermé to get ready for the second stint of the day. Much like the Springboks the drivers navigated a tough field and had to spot the gaps to get ever slightly get ahead of the competition. After the day the media was invited to join Lance for a quick drive in his competition vehicle to experience its capabilities. The South African Cross Country Series is an event to attend if you like bakkies, off-roading, sport or just a fun day out in the sun.


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