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Profile: Chris Visser, dedicated motorsportsman – and farmer

OFF-ROAD CHAMPIONS: Chris Visser and Danie Stassen on the podium after the Mpumalanga 400. Image: Nadia Jordaan

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Chris Visser, a South African Cross-Country stalwarts, businessman and farmer, has through the past 18 years clocked up more than 60 000km in the SA Cross-Country Series.

He’s now 51, born in the North West province’sf Delareyville, and competed in his first National Cross-Country event, the 2002 Toyota 1000 Desert Race, with older brother Jannie in the driving seat.

Through 2003-15 Visser jnr and long-time friend and navigator Japie Badenhorst contested the SACCS championship in Classes E, D, SP, T and FIA, winning the 2005 Class E championship and 2006 Class D championship. The highlight of their career, however, was being crowned the 2010 Overall Production Vehicle and SP Class champions in their Toyota Hilux.

CAUGHT BY A TREACHEROUS DUNE

From 2011-16 Visser switched to a Ford Ranger under the Neil Woolridge Motorsport banner, a choice which included the 2014 Dakar Rally in South America. Unfortunately he and Badenhorst’s race was short-lived – they hit a treacherous dune on Stage 2 and rolled their Ranger.

Visser sustained a neck injury so was out of action for the first five events of the 2014 SACCS championship, Nevertheless he came back to win the Vryburg 400 by 21sec from Anthony Taylor in a Hilux.

In 2016 Visser shared the cabin of the Woolridge Ranger with Ward Huxtable to finish second in the Class T championship after a season-long battle with the 4×4 Mega World Toyota Hilux team of Jason Venter and Vince van Alleman – each team on 146 points going into the final round, the Atlas Copco 400 around Westonaria.

ROOTS BURIED IN NORTH-WEST

A superb victory by Venter/vVan Alleman, their fourth of the season, put them 12 points clear of Visser/Huxtable to take the 2016 Class T championship.

Visser, a member of the Total Excellium Team, has competed in 109 SACCS championships since 2002 and ended the 2019 season third in the Production Vehicle championship as the highest-placed private entry.

With his roots still firmly buried in North West Province, Chris, his wife Mareta, and daughter Charlize enjoy the agricultural surrounds of the Vryburg area where the couple farm crops, a Bonsmara cattle stud and a Friesian horse stud.

BUSINESSMAN, TOO…

He is also CEO and driving force behind Benoni-based Chris Visser Transport, an owner-operated company established by him 29 years ago specialising in road freight, transportation of general goods and, more recently, hazardous chemicals throughout Southern Africa.

“Cross-Country racing is ingrained in our family and the highly competitive nature of the sport, It provides an opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family in the great South African outdoors.”

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