Second Australian to compete in Donaldson Cross Country Series


Words: Charmaine Fortune

A second driver from ‘Down Under’ is set to join the fray at the Atlas Copco Gold 450, the final round of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, on the West Rand on October 30 and 31.

Photo credit: Motorite

Former Australasian Safari winner Dave McShane will join newly crowned Special Vehicle champions Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen in a second Motorite Racing entry. The car is the ex Elegant Fuel BAT Venom in which Quintin and Kallie Sullwald won last year’s championship.

McShane will have a South African competitor doing co-driver duty, and will join Australian compatriots John Purshouse and Murray Hynes at the West Rand event with the Donaldson series taking on an increasingly cosmopolitan look. Purshouse and Hynes have been competing in a Ford Ranger in the Production Vehicle category.

The Australian competitors join four other international crews who regularly compete in what is regarded as the most competitive domestic championship of its kind in the world of motor racing. Jurgen and Max Schroder (Germany), Rómulo Branco and João Serôdio (Portugal), brothers Eduardo and Ricardo Argazzi (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Swaziland driver John Thomson who compete in both the Production and Special Vehicle categories with the Portuguese pair and Thomson challenging for South African titles.

McShane, who is based in Perth in Western Australia, has close ties with Motorite Racing and there is a strong possibility he will commit to a full season in the Donaldson championship next year. The Australian bought the locally designed and built Revo 4x4 in which Motorite team manager/driver Hutchison and Achim Bergman won the Special Vehicle championship in 2009.

After being shipped to Australia, the car finished second in the 2013 Australasian Safari. McShane and co-driver Bill Hayes then went one better last year with an overall win in the Australian classic.

“There is a very good chance Dave will take over the BAT Venom for a full season next year in the Donaldson championship,” Hutchison said. “He is a top class competitor who also runs a pair of Skodas in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship, and would bring a great deal of expertise and experience to our series.”

McShane’s appearance at the Atlas Copco Gold 450 and the possibility of him competing in next year’s series was also welcomed by SANORA CEO Richard Schilling. “It has always been our intention to grow the Donaldson championship on an international basis,” Schilling said. “The number of international competitors now competing here is both gratifying and encouraging, and we are hoping to attract more teams from further north in Africa and from Europe.”

Race headquarters, the start/finish and the designated service park for the Atlas Copco 450 will again be located at the Kloof Country Club in Glenharvie. Public access to these areas and spectator viewing points along the route is free of charge.

The qualifying event to determine race start positions will start at 11:30 on October 30 and the race at 07:00 on October 31. The qualifying event will be run over a route of 103 kilometres, and the race over two identical 162 kilometre loops.

Follow the Donaldson Cross Country Championship action on: and