All Tar - All Action

The Freightmore All Rally at the Killarney International Raceway lived up to it’s fearsome legacy of being a true test of man and machine when only 13 of the original 28 entries were classified as finishers of the 28-29 July 2017 event. This event demands good preparation, exceptional concentration and the smallest error normally results in dire consequences as the scenery at Killarney is normally concrete in construction.

Presented by the Cape Car & Motorcycle Club and the Western Province Motor Club the fifth round of the Western Province Rally Championship attracted a healthy twenty eight team entry. As the penultimate round of the regional championship the rallyists somewhat reluctant to accept an all out challenge from the racers entered but, then the lights went out and the first stage started.

Dirk Kruger Snr and Jnr delivered an absolutely faultless performance in their ex-Wesbank Midas Clubmans class C G&A Promotions Toyota Corolla 1.8 16v and completed the nine special stages 50 seconds clear of the first rally car. Their car never turned a wheel since the previous All Tar Rally but the (64 year old veteran) father and son combination simply proved untouchable.

Ettiene du Toit and Patrick Vermaak were prepared to drive a cautious event in the Team 467 WBMK S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6 in order to consolodate their championship positions and it showed initially as Keenan Sassman and Llewellyn van Greunen sensed the opportunity in their Howard Centre 413 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6. Holding onto a slender 5 second lead after SS6 they ran out of brakes on SS7, shortening their steed substantially. Fortunately without serious injuries to either crew member.

Rupert van Zyl and Marius Rudolph delivered on the promise they had been showing all season by placing the Pole Assassin Hollandse Motor Spesialiste 405 WBMK S4 VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 20v second overall with Ebrahim Mia and Ameen Snell third on debut in their new 420 CCMCC S4 Toyota Conquest 1.8 16v. Equalling their best result in the VW Polo they now face the choice as to which car they should keep.

Shaheen Amlay and Matthew Köhler placed the very good looking Amlay Motorsport 402 CCMCC S3 Toyota Conquest 1.6 20v fourth overall despite travelling in it’s own smoke screen for most of the event. Tiaan Rabe and stand-in navigator, Derek Jacobs, a fine fifth overall in the Time2Go Travel 404 WBMK / CCMCC S2 VW Golf MkI 1.6. Jean-Pierre Jacobs forced to withdraw on the eve of the event.

John and Derick Clift brought their 1994 ACW Engineering 418 WBMK S4 Toyota Hilux 2.0 home in a superb sixth overall despite having lost all power steering early in the event. A fact that the spectators enjoyed as he then had to turn the heavy vehicle with the handbrake.

Andy Haigh-Smith and Tania Vermaak also suffered power stering failure on their AHS Racing 432 CPMCC / WBMK S3 Mitsubishi Lancer GT1600 incurring a 2min25 penalty which would see them drop from sixth to seventh in the overall standings. The ever consistent 409 CCMCC S4 VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 of Julian Calvert and Terry Croy eighth overall whilst a very disappointed Trevor Hodges and Ian Thebus had to accept ninth place when their Claremont VW 421 CCMCC S4 VW Golf MkIII GTi 2.0 simply cut out on the penultimate stage for twelve minutes.

A high rate of attrition is synonamous with the Freightmore All Tar Challenge Rally as man and machine live on the limits from start to finish. Friday evening claimed no less than eight teams with Warren Scholtz and stand-in navigator, Michelle Taylor, unfortunate in spread eagling their 444 CPMCC S4 VW Polo 2.0 over a concrete retaining wall in the old pitlane. Our sincere sympathy with the Gay family as news came in that young Tommy had passed away after losing his brave six year battle with cancer.

Mustapha Mia and Lyle Marais removed the nose off their 456 CCMCC S3 Toyota Conquest 1.6 20v whilst the Jacques Phyfer and Sakkie Bosman Sabre Paints 406 CPMCC S4 VW Polo 2.0 20v was retired with a suspected broken crankshaft. Shaun Jones and Craig Gray had already parked the 434 CPMCC S4 BMW E36 328i in favour of a quiet day as spectators. Ismaeel Davids and Yusuf Ganief retired the Extreme Contracting 431 CCMCC Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6 whilst the similar car of Faizel Davids and Sean Nefdt ran out of reserve fuel pumps. Llewellyn Jones and Christoph Pichon also parked the CEJ 424 CPMCC S3 VW Polo 2.0 after a promising start.

Michael and Wendy Mitchell retrired their neat BP liveried  S1600 / S3 VW Polo 1.6 after SS6 when they ran out of brakes whilst Tariq Khaib and Faiz Idas struggled through various issues to eventually complete the rally under Super Rally regulations in their 412 CCMCC S2 VW Golf MkI 1.6.

In the Challenge category the Kruger Corolla was followed home by the extremely wild 156 WPMC Ford Fiesta 2.0 Turbo of Lammie and Carin Kotzé, the 54 WPMC / CCMCC Honda Ballade 1800 of Emile Assure and Robin Benjamin and the 60 WPMC VW Golf 1600 of Jade Lynch and Dean Esterhuizen. The rapid red Jetmaster 149 WPMC BMW E36 325 2.8 of Glen Phillips and Mike Nel unfortunately not reaching the finish.

A great big thank you to Killarney International Raceway for hosting what could and should be a flagship event for the Western Province Motor Cub. Socialite, WikiDeals, tikkaways, Quickshade, TyreLove, Kontra Signs and Freightmore Road & Freight Specialists assiting the Cape Car & Motorcycle Club in presenting one of the most testing events on the annual motorsport calender.

How challenging could a nine stage event over 100km be if it is held within the confines of the Killarney International Raceway? Well, just look at the results over all these years and  answer your own question!

Was good to note the presence of former WP navigator / driver Chris Hitchcock. His first attendance of a rally since retiring from the sport in 1990 and still a great sport photographer. To the many photographers supporting the sport in the modern electronic era a great big thank you for the very visual record that exist after each event. Dave Köpke dropped in from Riebeek Kasteel whilst André Dreyer, Salvan Moodly and Owen Koen also attracted attention whilst the voices of Frank Heunis and Francois Butler was a welcome addition during the event as live commentators.

Prizegiving proved very entertaining thanks to Gary Naidoo putting many on the spot with his sharp wit whilst Francois Butler handled the actual awards.

Ettiene du Toit acknowledged as the 2017 Western Province Rally Drivers Champion, ten years after having won the South African Gp N2 title in 2007 with the same car. Patrick Vermaak not able to share in the celebrations at this time as though the WP rules dictate that drivers and navigators have to score the same points (protecting the team aspect of rallying) it also allows them to be scored independantly (ruining the good intentions of the first rule)? Thus, Ettiene have effectively won four of the five rallies in the 2017 season but only scored full points on two as he has to score what his navigator did, yet his navigator cannot share the title? (Does not make sense, does it?)

When the Namibian crews were invited to contest the Western Province events the agreement was that their presence would have no influence on the regional championship. In all fairness to them their presence have not had any influence, but the loophole allowed local navigator, Derek Jacobs, to score whilst none of his drivers did, and as such the navigators title will only be determined after the 22/23 September 2017 Overberg Grand Prix.

Amazingly 66 year old John Clift finds himself second overall as driver in his ACW Engineering 418 WBMK S4 1994 Toyota Hilux 2.0 with son Derick third as navigator. When he effectively retired from business he also retired the company Hilux with 345 000km on the clock and turned it into a rally vehicle.

It was however not welcome to compete in the region and instead they achieved incredible results on the Total Tara Namibia International Rallies. Driving purely for fun it really is fantastic to see this father and son combination reaping rewards.

Shaheen Amlay and Matthew Köhler another team starting the event in difficult conditions with team leader and father figure to many under the CCMCC banner recovering from two heart attacks in short succession.

To Justin and Nicolene Gay – everyone in local rallying shared in your loss.

The Overberg Grand Prix beckons on 22/23 September 2017.