Benoni’s Clare Vale has earned the nickname, South Africa’s First Lady of Speed, in a motorsport career spent on the tar circuits and drifting tracks over the past fifteen years. She is poised to take on a new challenge trading the tar tracks for the dirt tracks of off road car racing.
Clare will tackle her first off road car event this Saturday, 19 February 2022, at the Weiveld 300 powered by 4X4 Megaworld, Farmers Meat Market and Topcar Panelbeaters. She is in safe hands with leading off road outfit, Red-Lined Motorsport, preparing the Wynns Nissan Hardbody an extremely sound and well-tested off road competition machine. Class D caters for four wheel drive production vehicles with engines limited to four litres. Multiple South African off road champion, both as a driver and navigator, Buks Carolin will be on navigation duty in the Hardbody reading the roadbook and will not only make sure that Clare stays on the correct route but is sure to be giving off road driving pointers along the way.
In 2021 Class D was one of the most fiercely competitive classes in The Inland Off Road Championship, a Motorsport South Africa sanctioned regional off road championship open to competitors from across South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland and Clare will quickly need to get to grips with her new vehicle and the driving skills required to do well in off road racing to be competitive in this year’s championship. She will face fierce competition from 2021 champions, Gerhard and Rudi Heinlein in the Sirkel-N-Landgoed / Lowveld Agrochem Toyota Hilux and their close rivals Theuns du Toit and James O’Mahony in the powerful N1 4X4 / Propeller Centre Toyota Land Cruiser.
Clare is no stranger to facing up to challenges in the male-dominated motorsport world starting out in circuit racing in the Shelby Can Am series as one of the only lady competitors in the category. She went on to become the first lady to compete in the WesBank V8 Supercar series in 2007 becoming the first lady to take pole in the category as well as the first lady to have finished on the podium in the category in 2010.
In 2012 she made the move from circuit racing to the more stylised sport of drifting and becoming the first female driver to compete in the Supadrift national series. She quickly transitioned from the raw speed and power needed to compete successfully in series such as the WesBank V8 Supercars to the smoking style show that is drifting where showmanship not speed determines success. Once she had mastered the drift circuit her Ram backed Ford Mustang was soon a firm crowd favourite. The Weiveld 300 will once again test Clare’s adaptability as a driver as she moves from tar to dirt.
The Weiveld 300 takes place on Saturday 19 February 2022 with Race Headquarters situated at the Weiveld Farmers’ Association Hall in the Parys area. Spectator entry is free and subject to Covid distancing rules. For news, spectator maps and the entry list please visit www.Facebook.com/TIORCSA/
Published by: The Inland Off Road Championship – Bella Geldenhuis/Adri Roets
Picture Caption: First Lady of Speed, Clare Vale, with navigator Buks Carolin is poised to tackle a new challenge
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