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By Motoring Reporter


KwaZulu-Natal the weekend battlefield for Sugarbelt 400

Annual trek to the sugar cane fields will comprise two routes of 160 km on Saturday.

The 2021 South African Cross Country Series will visit KwaZulu-Natal this weekend, with the Sugarbelt 400 to take place in the Eston / Mid Illovo area on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg.

Topping the Production Vehicle entry will be current title leaders Lance Woolridge and Elvéne Vonk (Castrol Ford Ranger), backed by Ford teammates Gareth Woolridge/Boyd Dreyer. They will face the Toyota Gazoo Racing team, led by Henk Lategan/Brett Cummings in their Hilux, plus the similar vehicles of Giniel de Villiers/Dennis Murphy and Shameer Variawa/TBA.

Others to watch in the FIA class must include Ernest Roberts/Henry Köhne (Red-Lined Nissan Navara), Eben Basson/Gerhard Schutte (Nissan Navara), Conrad Rautenbach/Riaan Greyling (Nissan navara) plus the Century CR6 entries of Mark Corbett/Rodney Burke, Brian Baragwanath/Leonard Cremer and Dewald van Breda/Johann du Toit.

Sugarbelt 400

The Horn brothers, Johan and Werner (Malalane Toyota Hilux) will lead the Class T entry. Picture: Tania Jordaan.

Rounding out the class will be teams like Johan/ Sean van Staden (Moto-Netix Renault Duster), Thilo Himmel/Armand du Toit (King Price Xtreme Nissan Navara), Gary Bertholdt/Siegfried Rousseau (Toyota Hilux) and Chris Visser/Danie Stassen (Toyota Hilux).

The Horn brothers, Johan and Werner (Malalane Toyota Hilux) will lead the Class T entries, facing off against Dylan Venter/Donovan Lubbe (4×4 Mega World Toyota Hilux), Malcolm/Frans Kock (Ford Ranger), Christo Rose/Arno Olivier (Ford Ranger), Wors Prinsloo/André Vermeulen (Ford Ranger) and Bernard Johnstone/Jan Harm Hugo (Ford Ranger).

Topping the Special Vehicle category will be local businessman Lance Trethewey/Adriaan Roets (Schalk Burger Motorsport BAT), Tim Howes/Don Thomson (Tim Drew Property BAT), Clint Gibson/ Alaric Smith (Dirt Sport Stryker), Sandra Labuschagne-Jonck/Jaco Jonck (Moto-Netix KEC Porter) Boela Botes/Jay Pretorius (Schalk Burger Motorsport Porter) and John Thomson/Maurice Zermatten (Zarco).

Sugarbelt 400

Clint Gibson/ Alaric Smith (Dirt Sport Stryker), should be front runners in the Special Vehicle category. Picture: Tania Jordaan.

The Class G Side-by-Side category boasts a healthy number of entries, all competing with Can-Am Maverick SxS cars. Front runners should be Werner/Leon Mostert (Schalk Burger Motorsport), the Larney brothers Cecil and Elardus, Nico du Rand/JG Claassen, Kent Rutherford/Kabelo Mokanyane (Enza Construction), Geoff Minnitt/ Gerrie Prinsloo and Marko Himmel/Francois Schoonbee (Schalk Burger Motorsport).

The action will start at 1 pm on Friday, with the Pirelli Qualifying race of 50 km to determine the starting order for the race on Saturday. The leading teams will tackle a figure of eight route of two 160 km loops from 8 am on Saturday, with a compulsory 30 minute service break after the first loop.

All the action will happen from the Beaumont Eston Farmers’ Club where the Race Headquarters plus the Start/Finish and Designated Service Point will be located. The event will be closed to spectators in accordance with Covid-19 protocols, but enthusiasts can follow the race on the RallySafe App that can be downloaded free of charge for Android and iOS devices.

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