Parys preparing for final Rally-Raid jaunt of 2023 | The Citizen

The final two rounds of this year’s South African Rally-Raid Championship will take place around the Parys Airfield in the Free State this Friday and Saturday,

The Parys 400 will see a variety of titles being clinched. In the the overall Production Vehicle Category,  reigning champions, Henk Lategan/Brett Cummings (Gazoo Racing Toyota DKR Hilux T1+) will face off against teammates Giniel de Villiers/Rodney Burke.

Others to watch in the T1+ class will be Shameer Variawa/Danie Stassen and rally aces Guy Botterill/Simon Vacy-Lyle, also in Gazoo Racing DKR Hilux T1+s.

Ford will run two NWM Castrol Ranger T1+ for Gareth Woolridge/Boyd Dreyer and Lance Woolridge/Elvéne Vonk, while the Horn brothers, Johan and Werner (Toyota #TeamHilux DKR T1+) could provide surprises.

The T1 class has already been clinched by Eben Basson/Leander Pienaar (Toyota #TeamHilux DKR T1). Opposition though will still be fierce and come via Gary Bertholdt/Juan Mohr (Toyota Hilux), Chris Visser/Albertus Venter (Red-Lined REVO), Philip Botha/Roelof Janse van Vuuren and Johan de Bruyn/Gerhard Schutte, both competing the Red-Lined Nissan Navara.

2022 Rally-Raid Series Parys 400 preview
The Special Vehicle category will be headed by already crowned 2022 champions Tim Howes and Gary Campbell (Timdrew Property Developments BAT Spec 4). Picture: Andre Viljoen.

Others to watch must include Fouché and Bertus Blignaut  (Toyota #TeamHilux T1+), Richard Leeke/Zaheer Bodhanya (Leeke Motorsport Toyota Hilux); Nicolas Pienaar/Carl Swanepoel (Super Energi Fuels Red-Lined Nissan Navara), Schalk Burger/Henk Janse van Vuuren (King Price Mercedes-Benz X-Class), Thomas Bell/Wade Harris (Red-Lined Motorsport REVO), Jürgen Schröder/Stuart Gregory (Nissan Navara) plus Hennie de Klerk/Adriaan Roets (Volkswagen Amarok).

Lance Trethewey/Leonard Cremer (King Price Xtreme Century CR6) have already secured the FIA T1.2 championship and they will come up against Simon Murray/Achim Bergmann (WCT HT2) as well as Dewald van Breda/Johann du Toit in a another Century CR6.

ALSO READ: Nampo Rally-Raid double header goes the way of Lategan and Toyota

The Class T title also still up for grabs between Jayden Els/Armand du Toit (King Price Xtreme Renault Duster) and Johan/Sean van Staden (KEC Renault Duster).

A compact but quality field of Special Vehicles will be headed by already newly crowned champions Tim Howes and Gary Campbell (Timdrew Property Developments BAT Spec 4).

Taking them on in Class A will be Lood du Preez/Chris Visser Jnr (Farmers Meat Stryker) Trace Price Moor/Shaun Braithwaite (Tip Top Milk BAT Venom), Sandra Labuscagne-Jonck/Jaco Jonck (KEC BAT Viper) and LC de Jager/Rikus Hattingh (BAT Spec 2).

2022 Rally-Raid Series Parys 400 preview
Gareth Woolridge/Boyd Dreyer will lead Ford’s onslaught in their NWM Ford Castrol Ranger T1+. Picture: Andre Viljoen.

Leading Class G will be the Mostert father and son duo of Werner and Ian (Moto-Netix Can-Am Maverick), chased by the likes of Geoff Minnitt/Gerhard Snyman (Hydro Power Can-Am Maverick), Glen Theron/Craig Galvin (Moto-Netix Can-Am Maverick), Francois de Wit/Ewald van Rensburg (Can-Am  Maverick) and Cecil and Elardus Larney (Can-Am Maverick).

The Parys 400 will start at 07h30 on Friday with the 12 kilometre Pirelli Qualifying Race to determine the starting order for the first of the two 153 kilometre racing loops. The Start/Finish, plus the Designated Service Park (DSP) and Race Headquarters, are situated at the Parys Airfield.

Loop One will start at 09:30 with teams returning to the DSP area for a controlled 30 minute service break after which they will complete the loop again.

Saturday’s seventh and final round will again start at 07:30 with teams taking on the 12 kilometre Pirelli Qualifying Race that determines the starting grid.

2022 Rally-Raid Series Parys 400 preview
Leading Class G will be the Mostert father and son duo of Werner and Ian (Moto-Netix Can-Am Maverick). Picture: Andre Viljoen.

On both days, the leading ten teams will draw for the line-up for the first loop of the day. On Saturday, a different 172 kilometre loop awaits competitors with the action starting again at 09:30.

Teams will break for 30 minutes after completing the loop and upon completion of the final loop of the season, the podium ceremony will be held at the airfield.

Spectators are welcome to follow the action along the route from various vantage points while refreshments will be available at the airfield where enthusiasts can view the action at the DSP.

The Parys 400 can also be followed on the RallySafe App that is available as a free download on the App Store or Google Play Store.

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