“The Dakar was the ultimate goal”
After Toyota three years ago, Ford show up on the Dakar as a semi-official factory team. Two Ford Rangers will therefore be present on the Dakar, designed and produced in South Africa while logistics will be handled by German-based South Racing. To drive one of them will be a man used to competing in the South African offroad championship in the Ranger: Christiaan Visser. South African champion with his co-driver Japie Badenhorst in 2010 and runner-up the following three years, Visser will be living a dream on the Dakar. To prepare for the event, he spent weeks in the Namibian dunes and made the best of the precious tips of compatriot Ralph Pitchford, former co-driver of Mark Miller who finished second of the Dakar in 2009. He hopes this Dakar will be the first of a long series; so to start with, all he hopes for is to reach the finish.
C.V.: “The decision to come on the Dakar was made back in August. It's a dream come true for me. I grew up in a motorsports family and we followed the event every year. The seed was planted then. I started competing in 2004 and the Dakar was the ultimate goal. We show up in a great team and with the possibility to do really well in this new Ford. We tested a lot in Namibia and the car is great. It is quite similar to the Toyota Hilux. According to Lucio Alvarez who drove one last year, the Ford is better. I believe Ford as a factory want to see if we can do the job. They'll really come onboard officially if we do and will help a great deal more. The Dakar is obviously a great challenge but we're prepared. Finish the race is our first goal. If possible we'd like to have one of our cars in the Top 10. I have no major concerns about the Dakar but the biggest problem for us should be the navigation. Things will be new for myself and Japie (Badenhorst) my co-driver. The idea is to be on the Dakar for several years and one day: go for the podium.”