X-raid Bmw Team 1st Intl Entry for African Heritage

By: Hailey Kerr

The X-Raid BMW team is the first international entry for the African Heritage Cross Country event, which is the round two of the FIA Cross Country World Cup and round five of the Absa Off-Road Championship. It will be held in the Eastern Cape from July 26 to 30. Expected for a race that will take in some awesome terrain in the Amatola Mountains are over 70 international and South African entries.

The team is using a BMW X3 CC with quality BMW compressor and a three liter diesel motor.

The team is headed up by Brazilian lawyer and businessman Paulo Nobre. He along with Portuguese co-driver Filipe Palmeiro - the pairing finishing 37th overall in this year's Dakar rally,
will be joining in South Africa.

Since 2001, the 39-year-old Nobre has been competing in South American and in other international events. In 2003, he won the Mitsubishi Cup and the N2 category in the South American Rally Championship in 2005. He has been a regular racer in the FIA Cross Country World Cup. He won the diesel category on the Pharaoh Rally in Egypt last year and he brings to South Africa a wealth of experience.

Since 2000, Palmeiro has been competing and has ranked alongside top Portuguese drivers like Francisco Esperto, Paulo Marques, Pedro Gameiro and Heldfer Oliviera. A former Portuguese T2 champion, Palmiero is a Challenge Nissan Spain winner.

Earlier this year, the opening leg of the World Cup was run in Portugal and before the events in Argentina, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates, the South African round will take place. The three best results qualify in the championship.

African Heritage Cross Country rights holder Charmaine Fortune said it's unfortunate some teams have chosen to use the Spanish Baja from July 20 to 22 as a test bed for the Dakar Rally.

On July 26, documentation and scrutinizing for the African Heritage Cross Country / Amathole 500 will happen at the Garden Court in East London. At 12h00 in Bisho, the introduction for the Amathole 500 and Stage 1 of the African Heritage Cross Country will begin and will finish at the Fish River Sun.

Will be running over a 500 kilometer circular route in the Amatola Mountains on July 28 are the Amathole 500, round five of the Absa Off Road Championship and Stage 2 of the African Heritage Cross Country. At the Fish River Sun, both races will start and finish.

With the start and finish at the Fish River Sun, stage 3 of the World Cup race will be on July 29 with the Stage 2 route run in reverse. Stage 4 of the African Heritage Cross Country will begin at the Fish River Sun and will finish in Bisho.

South African racers will qualify to compete on an invitation basis in the African Heritage Cross Country race. However, they will run at the back of the field. Trophies will be awarded but no championship points will be at stake for SA entries.

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