Cape Overberg Rally - National

20 May 2022                                       Habig trumps Overberg                 SA Rally Championship Round 1

The South African Rally Championship opened with a stunning debut victory for Benjamin Habig and Barry White in their 58 NRC2 Just Tools VW Polo GTi 1.0 Turbo.

Wilro Dippenaar and Carolyn Swan served early notice of their intentions when the 14 NRC1 PZN Panelbeaters Toyota Auris 2.0 4x4 won the opening three stages, but just as it started to stake a serious claim on overall victory the engine cried enough in SS6. Theuns Joubert and Schalk van Heerden was even less fortunate when the 1 NRC1 Salom Toyota Yaris 2.0 4x4 came to a halt with electrical maladies after SS2.

Chris Coertse and Greg Godrich found a steady rhythm and their patience paid dividends as they would finish second overall in the 3 NRC1 Rally Technic Hyundai i20 2.0 4x4. Johan Strauss and Elzaan Venter another team clearly intent on finishing both events and a solid performance saw their 29 NRC1 Cri Online Subaru Impreza WRX STi 2.0 Turbo 4x4 finish on the podium on debut in the Cape.

Showing great pace on debut was the brand new 11 NRC1 Gazoo Toyota Starlet 2.0 Turbo 4x4 of Guy Botteril and Simon Vacy-Lyle. With some eight minutes lost in SS6 there clearly was a need for further development, but the grin on his face said that the opposition will be facing a formidable new car, sooner than they expect. Motorsport always thrives on “if” but they had to accept fourth overall on debut.

Gerald Klopper and Johan Aucamp represented a more lively approach in their 4 NRC2 Salom Toyota Etios 1600 and netted fifth overall after an entertaining effort. Anrico Opperman and Tommy Coetzee drove a steady event into sixth overall with the 50 NRC4 Team Shield VW Polo 1600 and they were followed home by the daughter and Mother combination of Andrea and Isabel Raaths in their 211 NRC2 Pretoria Noord Toyota Auris 1600.

Anton Raaths (father and husband) and Louis Menge unfortunately fell foul of the tricky T left spectator point on SS4 which resulted in their impressive 9 NRC1 Ford Escort Cosworth Turbo rolling into retirement for the weekend.

George Smallberger and Robbie Coetzee retiring their 7 NRC2 Team Shield VW Polo after SS6 with mechanical maladies.

Disappointing to see so few entries at national level, but also very encouraging to see the national championship return to the Cape. Traditionally two events in the Cape would feature the Overberg and the Swartland as two very different events and hopefully this will become the norm again. Bredasdorp and Klipdale certainly retaining it’s status as the Overberg Grand Prix.

21 May 2022                                                       Joubert hits back!                    SA Rally Championship Round 2

Theuns Joubert and Schalk van Heerden put a disappointing opening day behind them to triumph in the Klipdale district with the 1 NRC1 Salom Toyota Yaris 2.0 4x4 taking control from special stage one to record their first victory of the 2022 season.

The ever consistent Chris Coertse and Greg Godrich once again keeping out of trouble to finish another solid second overall in their 3 NRC1 Rally technic Hyaundai i20 2.0 4x4 with Johan Strauss and Elzaan Venter completing the podium for a second event in succession with their 29 NRC1 Cri Online Subaru Impreza WRC STi 2.0 Turbo 4x4.

Anrico Opperman and Tommy Coetzee fourth overall and the final classified finishers in their 50 NRC4 Team Shield VW Polo 1600.

Unfortunately running events on consecutive days potentially impacts the entry for the second event and the national categories saw only eight teams reach the Rûens College start on Saturday morning. Only four would be classified as finishers.

Guy Botteril and Simon Vacy-Lyle was just getting into their stride with the 11 NRC1 Gazoo Toyota Starlet 2.0 Turbo 4x4 when (lack of) development time caught up with the BMT team and they had to retire the new car after SS4. Early days, but hopefully this car will light a fire of enthusiasm with more manufacturers to get involved in rallying again. Cannot help but think that a Suzuki Baleno in the smaller capacity classes could lead to greater participation.

Benjamin Habig and Barry White nursed gear selection problems on Friday and the problem really ruined their Saturday effort, the 58 NRC2 Just Tools VW Polo GTi 1.0 Turbo retiring after SS1. Gerald Klopper and Johan Aucamp looked set to challenge the Polo but their 4 NRC2 Toyota Etios also failed after SS1. Andre and Isabel Raaths sadly did not even complete SS1 with their 211 NRC4 Pretoria Noord Toyota Auris 1600.

With the promise of a good entry for the next round of the championship, the Lake Umuzi National Championship Rally Round 3 and 4 on 10-11 June 2022.

 

style="display:block"
data-ad-client="ca-pub-5138584496574453"
data-ad-slot="6029391964"
data-ad-format="auto"
data-full-width-responsive="true">