11 June 2012 - A slightly battered looking Springbok scrumhalf, Francois Hougaard had a lot to smile about as he received the largest car sponsorship in South African history, an Audi R8 Spyder from Audi Centre Northcliff, yesterday (11 June 2012). Hougaard, who earned his 16th Springbok Test cap against England on Saturday said that the R2.2-million car has been his dream car for quite some time.Picture Thys Dullaart


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IF YOU happen to find Springbok Francois Hougaard sitting next to you at a traffic light, whatever you do, don’t challenge him to a dice.

For in the 4.1 seconds it takes to wipe the dust from your eye, Hougaard will be travelling at 100km/h.

If the traffic lights remain green and Hougaard decides to play chicken with the law, he could even get up to 313km/h.

The Springbok scrumhalf’s new cabby is an Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI Quattro that goes for a cool R2.2 million. But he didn’t have to pay for it – it is the largest car sponsorship of a SA sportsman.

The car was sponsored by Audi Centre Northcliff, Audi South Africa and Prime Human Performance. And it is the car the 24-year-old always wanted.

“I’m really looking forward to driving this stunning set of wheels. It has been my dream car for quite some time. A big thank you to my sponsors for making it happen,” said Hougaard.

Fans might shudder at the thought of yet another sportsman at the wheel of a high-performance sports car. Often they don’t mix well. Late-night parties and a need for speed have claimed a long list of sportsmen and celebrities who totalled their cars.

In 2007, popular DJ S’bu Leope was busted and fined R7 000 after he was caught driving at 257km/h. He was driving an Audi TT that was lent to him by Audi SA.

Audi SA, who regularly lend their cars to prominent people, said they had no choice but to take back the car because they did not condone reckless driving. At the time, Leope had been driving the car for more than a month.

Kim Sears, a public relations officer working on behalf of Audi Northcliff, said Hougaard knows how to handle this beast.

“He has driven sports cars before and has done an advanced driving course. They wouldn’t have chosen him if he wasn’t responsible,” said Sears.