The country’s top gravel racers will go to Port Elizabeth with two crews tied at the top of the points table.
They are the Castrol Toyota team’s Leeroy Poulter/ Elvene Coetzee and Hergen Fekken/ Carolyn Swan, in identical Yaris S2000 entries.
Just 13 points adrift is the Sasol Volkswagen Polo of 20-year-old Henk Lategan and co-driver Barry White – half a point ahead of the identical Sasol Polo of Hans Weijs/ Bjorn Degandt.
The Sasol Volkswagen team is getting ever closer to the season’s leaders and, with added pressure to deliver on their home event, a major fight is sure to erupt at the head of the time sheets.
Gugu Zulu/Carl Peskin, in a third Sasol VW Polo will be looking for a change in fortune to bank some solid points for their efforts.
As a special treat, fans will see 10-time Austrian Rally Champions Raimund Baumschlager and Walter Illman in a fourth Sasolracing Polo.
Able to challenge for the overall victory will be double defending South African champions Mark Cronje/Robin Houghton (Ford Racing Fiesta S2000), Dakar hero Giniel de Villiers/Greg Godrich (Imperial Toyota Yaris) and Japie van Niekerk/Gerhard Snyman (New Africa Ford Fiesta).
The Super 2000 Challenge category for older specification S2000 cars will see Thilo Himmel/Armand du Toit (VW Polo Vivo) taking on Piet Bakkes/Shaun Visser (Accident Guru Toyota RunX), Wilro Dippenaar/ Kesevan Naidoo (PZN Panelbeaters Toyota Auris) and Nic van der Westhuizen/Stefan Cilliers (SA Earthworks Toyota Auris)
Currently, the runaway leaders in the front-wheel drive 1 600cc class are Guy Botterill and Simon Vacy Lyle (Yato Tools Toyota Etios R2).
Chasing the pairing, with nothing to choose between them in terms of pace, will be Willie van Straaten/Scott Howden (Collisen Engineering Toyota RunX), Ashley Haigh Smith/Damien Van As (React Ford Fiesta R2), Matthew Vacy Lyle/Schalk van Heerden (Fragram Toyota Etios), Richard Leeke III/AN Other (ATS Ford Fiesta R2) and Chad van Beurden/Nico Swartz (Beurden Construction Polo).
Rounding out the class will be Paul Franken/Henry Kohne (Manitou Polo R2), Chris Coertse/Mari van der Walt (Electrothread Toyota Etios), Ernie van der Walt/ Briton James Aldridge (Ferodo Ford Fiesta), Donavan Mayer/Tommy Coetzee (SA Earthworks Fiesta), AC Potgieter/Tommy du Toit (Tri-sec Autohaus VW Polo) and Luke van Rensburg/Pierre Jordaan (7 Films Fiesta).
The new-look Volkswagen Rally route will start from the Volkswagen Pavilion in Uitenhage, heading to a new spectator friendly stage on Mission Road.
After visiting the Longmore Forest, two tarmac special stages will take place in Jeffreys Bay.
Saturday will start with two gravel SuperSpecial stages at the PE Oval, and teams will head back to the Longmore Forest before a big finish at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium.
The prize-giving and podium will take place at the stadium where fans can mingle with the teams.
Spectator guides are available on www.rallyworld.net and will be available at the start.
Comment Cancel reply