As the season draws to a close, Team Ford Racing is preparing to go out with at least one victory at the Carnival City 400!

The final round of the Absa Off Road Championship, the Carnival City Casino 400, takes place on 19 and 20 November around the Carnival City, located east of Johannesburg.

It’s been an interesting year for Team Ford Racing. The Class T Ford Ranger of Neil Woolridge and Kenny Skjoldhammer has provided fans with some spectacular racing and this has resulted in numerous podium positions for the duo.

“When it comes to reliability and toughness – even under the worst possible conditions, our Ford Ranger V6 engine has performed beyond extremely well,” says Woolridge. “We have also been very fortunate with our BF Goodrich tyres, which have meant that punctures have been rare.”

The introduction of the 4-litre Ford Ranger was a challenging learning curve. Teething problems have haunted the vehicle, which is to be expected with a brand new racing vehicle.

“Yes, there have been frustrations at times but we have loved every single minute of racing our Ranger,” comments Schröder. “It’s one of the most powerful racing vehicles that I’ve ever driven. The fast events have been a dream!”

While the long-standing members of the team have remained unchanged (namely Woolridge/Skjoldhammer and Schröder/Peckham), there have been two new additions to Team Ford Racing – and they have enriched the team immensely. The Class E team of Baphumze (Bappie) Rubuluza and Kulile Vakalisa have made a tremendous success of their first-ever season on the off-road circuit, notching up numerous podium finishes and earning the admiration of the rest of their team mates and fellow competitors.

“This has been an extremely interesting year for us,” recalls Rubuluza. “We came into this team as complete novices. But we have enjoyed each and every race and we have regarded the year as a learning curve. We are pleased with our successes and hope that we will be even more of a threat in Class E next year.”

Class T driver Woolridge is looking forward to the Carnival City 400, which he says has held mixed fortunes for him in the past. “In previous races, the course at Carnival City has either been really good to myself and my navigator, Kenny, or it has been disastrous. We have won this race twice before, but we have also written off a vehicle on this course,” Woolridge explains. “Who knows what this race will hold but we're certainly looking forward to it.”

He’s hoping for an extremely challenging route. “I hope it’s tight, twisty and tough – and that suits our Ford Ranger ideally,” Woolridge comments.

After an extremely successful run at the recent Toyota Dealer 400, where they clinched a second in class, the Class D team believes that it is up to whatever challenges the race organisers have up their sleeves.

Schröder is taking a positive outlook with him into this year’s concluding race. “We’ve got everything to gain and we're going to have fun,” he says. The team’s goal is to finish off the year with a class win in their V6 Ford Ranger, which is sponsored by BF Goodrich, Time Freight, Joey's, Barloworld PMB and Husqvarna chain saws. “We want to go out on a high note!” Schröder says with a smile.

Rubuluza’s game plan is more on the cautious side. “We want to finish this race,” he says adamantly. “I have been told that this is a rather rough course, but we have a well-built Ranger that has seen us through our initiation. Our Ranger 2.5 Turbo Diesel 4x4 - sponsored by Pirelli, Time Freight and Joey's - is performing exceptionally well. We hope that the vehicle's torque, coupled with our increasing experience, will prove to be a successful combination. There is no doubt that our vehicle will deliver a top-notch performance this time round; we hope that we can match its performance!”

Original article from Car