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Profile: Kent Rutherford – one of SA’s youngest racing drivers

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Meet Kent Rutherford, one of the youngest competitors  in the SA Cross-Country championship, has motorsport and cross-country racing in his genes.

He’s the first-born of Archie and Kathryn Rutherford and was born on the Transvaal’s East Rand on the weekend of the Botswana 2002 Toyota 1000 Desert Race. His racing father Archie recalls it well: the impending birth meant he couldn’t take part.

Young Rutherford Younger made his debut, aged 14, as a navigator in the 2017 Lichtenburg 400 alongside his father in a Class S Toyota Hilux. To date the youngster has competed in 12 SACCS Cross-Country events – but this year (2020) made his debut as a driver.

kent pos 1
KENT RUTHERFORD: Now 18, will have his off-road racing debut in the 2020 Lichtenburg 400. Image: Supplied

The father-and-son combination will be racing under the Red-Lined International banner in the highly competitive SxS Class in the Special Vehicles category.

Kent is said to be a highly motivated and goal-orientated individual.He’s a final year scholar at St John’s College in Houghton,northern Johannesburg.

HE’S A GOLFER, TOO

He told The Corner in a media release: “I have high aspirations and would appreciate nothing more than proving myself through the ranks to be selected as a driver and member of highly regarded Toyota Gazoo Racing or Red-Lined International teams.”

MEETING HIS HERO: Teenager Kent RUtherford with his racing hero Fernando Alonso. Image:Supplied

He also represents his college as a single-digit handicap golfer and as a member of the school’s second hockey team. Fitness and a well-balanced nutritional regime are part of his everyday life.

‘PUSHING BOUNDARIES

“One of my treasured moments was meeting Fernando Alonso (see right) when he was testing in South Africa for Toyota Gazoo Racing in 2019. He was one of my heroes and role models long before I met him.

”His determination and desire to constantly push his personal boundaries inspires me.”

Kent’s dad Archie, a civil engineer and accomplished businessman, started his racing career in 2001 at the first Carnival City in a Raceco and has competed in 83 SACCS Cross-Country events since 2002: 48 in the Special Vehicle category, 34 in Production Vehicles, and one in the SxS category which now forms part of the SACCS National championship.

READ MORE MOTORSPORT features on Carman’s Corner

He’s Archie also climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, completing the Midmar Mile swim, the Hansa Powerade Fish River Canoe Marathon, the Comrades Marathon and the BBET Club Challenge – a 150km run over three days, swum the the English Channel in a five-man relay team, and cycled 360km in France from Calais to Paris.

YOUNG KENT IN ACTION:  Image: Supplied

Kent says his parents have been his greatest motivators. ”That’s in all my achievements, with my dad driving the motorsport passion.

“My motorsport ambitions include participating in international Cross-Country Rally Raids and Baja’s – and the Dakar Rally.”

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