A drama-filled run in Lesotho has left Team Ford Racing hungry for success in the upcoming Mafikeng 500.

This event, round six of the 2004 Absa Off Road Championship, takes place in Mmabatho on September 24 and 25.

The teams remain the same and the drivers and navigators are once again expecting great things of their “Built Ford Tough” vehicles.

Class T driver / navigator combination, Neil Woolridge and Skjoldhammer, are eyeing the South African championship title. And this formidable duo intends using this race to really prove its mettle. “There is no reason why we should not have a fabulous run this time around,” says Woolridge. “The course varies from year to year and obviously we are hoping for a rougher track as opposed to a fast track. There is a reason why Ford brands its vehicles ‘Built Ford Tough’ – they are right at home during races like these. It never ceases to amaze me what punishment our Ford Ranger V6 endures."

The Class T Ranger is sponsored by BF Goodrich tyres, Time Freight and Joey's (panel beaters and painting).

Class D competitors, Manfred Schröder and Jack Peckham, will be campaigning their 4.0-litre, BF-Goodrich-clad Ford Ranger once again. Schröder says that his primarily goal is to score highly in the prologue, which determines the starting positions for the race. “The prologue is of utmost importance for this race because, if you get left behind, you spend the rest of the race with a face full of dust. Therefore, Jack and I will be pushing hard. We want to start out in front and lead them home,” he notes.

Schröder says that he knows that his Ford Ranger V6 – also sponsored by Time Freight, Joey's, Barloworld PMB and Husqvarna chain saws –won’t let him down. “Its 4.0-litre motor is really reliable – and it boasts tons of power, which is an added advantage. We hope to truly demonstrate its prowess at the Mmabatho 500.”

The Class E team’s expectations are high for the up-coming run. “Lesotho was not kind to us, but this has not deterred us,” remarks Baphumze (Bappie) Rubuluza. “My co-driver, Kulile Vakalisa, will be looking for an opportunity to improve our points and will use the rough track to gain as much ground as possible.”

It’s important to Rubuluza that they play it smart as well as tough. “We will do our best. Thankfully our Pirelli-shod Ford Ranger 2.5 Turbo Diesel 4x4 – sponsored by Time Freight and Joey's – is in good shape and we have high hopes for our and the team’s success,” he concludes.

Original article from Car