Kent Rutherford, one of the youngest competitors to compete in the SA Cross Country Championship (SACCS) has motorsport and Cross Country racing in his genes.
Kent, first-born of Archie and Kathryn Rutherford, was born on the East Rand on the weekend of the 2002 Toyota 1000 Desert Race which started and finished from the Gaborone Dam, recalls father Archie who missed the event due to this momentous occasion.
Kent made his debut as a navigator at the tender age of 14 at the 2017 Lichtenburg 400 when he took over the navigators’ seat alongside his father Archie in a Toyota Hilux in Class S. To date the youngster has competed in 12 SACCS Cross Country events and this year made his debut as a driver. The father and son combination will be competing under the Red-Lined International banner in the highly competitive SxS Class in the Special Vehicle category.
Kent fondly known to his family and friends as “Kento” is a highly motivated and goal orientated individual, and a final year scholar at St John’s College in Houghton. His peers think his favourite sports activity is “cool” and refer to him as the “works driver”.
“I certainly do have high aspirations and would appreciate nothing more than proving myself through the ranks and being selected as a driver and member of the highly regarded Toyota Gazoo Racing or Red-Lined International teams,” said young Rutherford.
The multi-talented young sportsman is not only passionate about motorsport, he also represents St John’s College as a single-digit handicap golfer and as a member of the second hockey team. Fitness and a well-balanced nutritional regime are part of his everyday life.
“One of my treasured moments was meeting the legendary Fernando Alonso when he was testing in South Africa for Toyota Gazoo Racing last year. Alonso was one of my heroes and role models long before I met him. His determination and desire to constantly push his personal boundaries is what inspires me,” said Kent.
Kent’s dad Archie, a civil engineer and accomplished businessman, started his racing career in 2001 at the inaugural Carnival City in a Raceco and has competed in 83 SACCS Cross Country events since 2002. 48 in the Special Vehicle category, 34 in the Production Vehicle category and one in the SxS category which now forms part of the SACCS National Championship.
Archie also boasts a proud sporting record which includes summitting Mount Kilimanjaro, completing the Midmar Mile, the Hansa Powerade Fish River Canoe Marathon, the Comrades Marathon and the BBET Club Challenge which composed a 150 kilometre run over three days, swimming the English Channel in a five-man relay team and cycling 360 kilometres from Calais to Paris.
“My parents have been my greatest motivators in all my achievements, with my dad driving the motorsport passion. I have been very privileged to attend numerous motorsport events including the scrutineering day of the 2008 Dakar Rally in Portugal prior to its cancellation due to security reasons,” said Kent.
“My motorsport ambitions include being rewarded with national titles, participating in international Cross Country Rally Raids and Baja’s and yes, ultimately the Dakar Rally,” the young Rutherford concluded.