SCHILLING APPOINTED TO FIA CROSS COUNTRY RALLY COMMISSION
In a major step forward for off road racing, MSA Off Road Car Racing Commission President Richard Schilling has been appointed to the FIA World Cross Country Rally Commission.
It is the first time South Africa has been represented on the Cross Country Rally Commission, with Schilling's appointment seen as having long term benefits for off road racing in this country. The Absa Off Road Championship is regarded as the most competitive national championship in the world, and is a dominant series on the Motorsport South Africa sporting calendar.
FIA Cross Country events comprise four endurance/marathon events and six Baja races.
The South African championship has been used as a proving ground for vehicles competing in various international championships. In 2009 two Nissan Navaras, built by Glyn Hall and his Hallspeed team in Kyalami, finished in the top five of the Dakar Rally.
Alfie Cox, Giniel de Villiers and Ralph Pitchford have also competed in the Dakar Rally and other overseas events with distinction. De Villiers won the Dakar Rally in 2009 with Pitchford finishing third.
"I am very proud of the appointment but, more important, it augurs well for the long term strategy the MSA Off Road Car Racing Commission has to host a marathon event in Southern Africa," said Schilling. "Moving closer to the FIA will obviously have long term benefits for off road racing in Southern Africa, but it is also important to Absa and our other partners and sponsors that we have representation on the world controlling body.
"Off road racing is currently operating on solid ground, and we now have the opportunity to take the sport to a new level."
The final event in this year's Absa series, the RFS Magalies 400, will be run on November 19 and 20. The event will be based at the Tarlton International Raceway complex near Krugersdorp.