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The inaugural PS Laser ProMac Vryheid 400, the second round of the SA Rally-Raid Championship that takes place on 24 and 25 May in the Vryheid area in northern KwaZulu-Natal, will not only provide competitors with another chance to score points towards the championship, but the winners will make a little history as the first victors of this brand-new event.

As the second of the seven round 2024 SA Rally-Raid Championship, all competitors will feel the pressure – those who have already opened their scoresheets with valuable points at the season opener and those aiming for their first points, to get their championship off the ground.

To add to the excitement, spectators will be able to see their local KZN heroes in action while they can show their support for Vryheid raised Ryan Bland (ProMac), co-partner of the event while two regular German drivers, Jϋrgen and his son, Daniel Schröder will again be in the driving seat of the two Nissan Navara vehicles sporting the PS Laser branding as the other race partner.

The Pietermaritzburg-based Woolridge brothers, Lance and Gareth will no doubt be crowd favourites in their Neil Woolridge Motorsport Ford NWM Ranger T1+ together with their respective navigators, Kenny Gilbert and Boyd Dreyer and will hope to produce good results. The reigning champions, Gareth/Boyd will be looking to earn their first points after a disappointing first outing while Lance/Kenny will also welcome a good result. They will be supported by team-mates, Wors Prinsloo/André Vermeulen in the FIA Ultimate Class.

Toyota Gazoo Racing will again have four teams in the field, all competing with the Hilux IMT EVO and all will have an eye on the Ultimate trophy. The first race winners of the season, Giniel de Villiers/Elvéne Vonk will aim for another victory, as will Guy Botterill/Dennis Murphy who missed the top step of the podium by a mere 45 seconds in Malalane. Saood Variawa/Francois Cazalet will tread carefully after a near mishap at the first event while Henk Lategan/Brett Cummings will hope for better luck this time round as they need a healthy haul of points to kickstart their title chase.

There will be a few more Toyota Hilux vehicles in the FIA Ultimate Class on the start line at Vryheid including the two brother combinations in the #TeamHilux Rally-Raid DKR Toyota Hilux T1+, Johan and Werner Horn who finished just off the overall podium on their home event earlier this year and Fouché and Bertus Blignaut who were hot on their heels.

Chris Visser/Albertus Venter gave the new Red-Lined REVO T1+ GTR a perfect first outing in Mpumalanga, but would like to better their sixth place overall. Two more Red-Lined Motorsport teams, both international competitors, will travel to South Africa to experience the Vryheid race. Dave Klaassen/Tessa Rooth will take their REVO T1+ GTR out for a second outing in the 2024 SARRC while Rients Hofstra will team up with Wade Harris in a similar vehicle.

The two King Price Xtreme Teams experienced mixed results at the season opener, but after moving to the Ultimate T1+ Class this year, young Jayden Els, now with navigator, Henry Köhne in the SVR, showed their potential to finish third in Mpumalanga and will hope to post another good result. The VW Amarok of Schalk Burger/Armand du Toit could not see out the distance in Mpumalanga and will miss the PS Laser ProMac Vryheid 400.

Four teams will be in action in Century Racing vehicles with Brian Baragwanath/Leonard Cremer and the international team of Rik van den Brink/Gaydo Heimans, will line-up with the four-wheel drive Twin Turbo CR7. Mark Corbett and his son, Luke (CR6 Turbo) could not see out the full race distance at the first race of the season and will want to see a waving chequered flag at Vryheid , while local KZN driver, Lance Trethewey (LT Earthmovers CR6), who missed the opening event, will hope to produce a good result together with Botswana navigator, Vincent Crosbie.

In the Adventurer Class, the battle will continue between the frontrunners where Daniel Schröder and KZN businessman, Ryan Bland (Nissan Navara VK50) will defend their class lead while they will be chased by Johan de Bruyn/Adriaan Roets as well as the Heinlein duo of Gerhard and Rudi who rounded out the podium in Mpumalanga, both making use of the Red-Lined VK56. More points will also be possible for Schröder Sr, Jϋrgen and KZN motorcycle rider and navigator, Stuart Gregory, for who a podium result will be a good addition to the fourth place they scored a few weeks ago.

The defending T1 champions, Eben Basson/Leander Pienaar (#TeamHilux Rally-Raid Toyota) as well as the Van Staden father and son team of Johan and Sean (Renault Duster) will, however, be going all out to make up for lost opportunities as they would want to leave Vryheid with their first points in the bag.

All the entrants in the SSV Class will hope for Lady Luck to be on their side. Geoff Minnitt/Rodney Burke (Hydro Power Equipment Can-Am Maverick) were the only team able to finish the first race albeit on three wheels. Darron Gudmanz/Quintin Lessing and the young Cape Town driver, Puck Klaassen, who will have Carl Swanepoel reading the notes, and SARRC newcomers, Ruperd Fourie/Morné van Rensburg will all put their Can-Am Maverick SSV’s on the start-line.

Grant Watkins/Mark Irvine (Zarco) are the lone entry in the Challenger Class.

The PS Laser ProMac Vryheid 400 will also be the first and second rounds of the KZN Regional Championship with regional competitors only competing on Saturday.

The race will start and finish at the Vryheid Airfield with the 14 kilometre Castrol Qualifying race on Friday, 24 May getting the action underway at 09:30 followed by Stage One, 38 kilometres at 13:00. On Saturday, competitors will take on the picturesque but challenging Stage Two with a race distance of 175 kilometres. After completing the stage once, they will stop for a well-earned 30-minute service break at the Designated Service Point at the airfield before tackling the stage again. The race finishes at the Vryheid Airfield where the podium ceremonies will also take place.

The PS Laser ProMac Vryheid 400 can be followed on the RallySafe App, available as a free download from the iStore and Google PlayStore or on Facebook:;
Instagram: and Twitter: @SACCS.Auto.

Published by: Charmaine Fortune – SA Rally-Raid Championship

Photography by: Dave Ledbitter

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