Lourens and Nina van Rensburg do it after 32 years!

Dirkie and Marthilda Boonstra made history when they became the first husband and wife combination to win a round of the Western Province Rally Championship in the Owen Ashley created ex-works Fiat Abarth 131 powered by a Leyland Rover V8 3.5 engine in August of 1983, the Somerset West Motor Club organized Knowles Rally.

At the time regional rallies (8 per annum) generally started late on the Friday afternoon and finished early Saturday morning and the Boonstra couple were up against the mighty works Ford Escort BDA of Serge Damseaux. Marthilda would become the first, and to date the only, woman to win a Western Province Navigators Championship and prestigious Western Province colours at the end of her first full season of rallying. Marthilda making her navigators debut on the 1982 Knowles Rally.

The Boonstra couple would also win the tough Montagu Rally in 1983 but sadly a broken gearbox on the final round would see Dirkie miss out on the Western Province Drivers title by the narrowest of margins.

A new chapter was written on Saturday 11 April 2015 when Lourens and Nina van Rensburg succeeded in winning the CPMCC Swartland Regional Rally in their 7Films / LLJ Racing S5 WPMC Ford Fiesta R2 1600. How times have changed with the modern day events only run in daylight, with a compact rallysprint format and only six events per annum. Never the less a well deserved victory for the popular husband and wife combination, and only the second couple to do so! 32 years after the Boonstra couple won the Knowles!

The Cape Peninsula Motorcycle and Car Club stood the test of time and as the second oldest motoring club in South Africa it was somehow quite fitting to see this result on the CPMCC Swartland Rally, hosted with valued support by Automark Toyota Malmesbury and Metric steel Blackheath. Much rain led to a “sensitive” water crossing in 2014 but in 2015 it was dry and dusty and though the field was small, those present certainly delivered in quality performance.

Initially entered in the trusty AHS Racing S3 CPMCC Mitsubishi Lancer GT1600 Ashley Haigh-Smith and Damian van As, then announcing their national AHS Racing S5 CPMCC Ford Fiesta R2 1600 would be ready, they eventually sportingly started the event in the Yellow Submarine to see the event retain championship scoring status with twelve teams heading into the Swartland from Automark Toyota Malmesbury. They retired the Mitsubishi before SS1.

Warren Köhler and Clint Lingeveldt failed to see the value of good publicity, rolling their Clinton Sassman E30 S4 CCMCC BMW 325i out of sight on SS1 – no photographs to prove that they did this with minor damage to the car and just slightly deflated ego’s. The one event Eric Joseph could not attend and you go bottoms-up! Disappointing. Fagerie Isaacs and Robin Benjamin stuck to the more acceptable breaking of the clutch on SS1 approach to remove their S2 CCMCC VW Golf MkI 1.6 from the days proceedings.
John and Weston Peiser opened their account with the fastest time on the opening stage with their ex-Nicholas Ryan Speed Pro Cycling Equipment S5 WPMC Subaru Impreza GT 4x4 Turbo and looked comfortable doing so.

Kesevan Naidoo had Divan de Goede don his overall as navigator in the Freightmore S3 CCMCC Toyota Corolla RXi 1600 and though still getting to know each other slotted in ten seconds slower than the Scoobie. Lourens and Nina van Rensburg just two seconds slower in their 7Films / LLJ Racing S5 WPMC Ford Fiesta R2 1600 with Paul van Wyk and Quinton Swarts fourth quickest in their acciDent Guru S3 WBMK VW Golf MkI 2.0. Keenan Sassman and Derek Jacobs somewhat miffed being fifth fastest in their S3 CCMCC Toyota Corolla RXi 1600 but the car was not delivering on performance. 

Darren and Llewellyn van Greunen were on the move in their S1 WBMK VW Golf MkI 1.4i, just six seconds shy of the Corolla and twelve up on the Amlay Motorsport S4 CCMCC Toyota Run X RSi of Abduraghman Amlay and Yusuf Ganief . Anwar Levy and Jean-Pierre Jacobs placed their Jive S3 VW Polo 2.0 eighth and in the Maytham wooden spoon position it was Ebrahim Levey and Matthew Köhler in the Jive S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1600.

With the service park centralized at Automark Toyota Malmesbury it was good to see route of the event include alternate stages to Nuwedam or Wolfgat. Do not get me wrong, they are very popular with everyone, but a change in routine keeps everyone awake and interested. The familiar name of Vogelgesang brings back memories of two cars rolling within sight of the spectators next to the N7 but this time everyone completed the stage, except for Keenan Sassman and Derek Jacobs who had developed a slight electrical problem on their Toyota when a conrod ventilated the block and knocked the alternator off it’s mounting.

John and Weston Peiser took no prisoners on SS2 and posted a time 1min03 clear of van Rensburg Ford with the van Greunen cousins impressive in third position, one up on Kes and Divan. Paul van Wyk and Quinton Swarts turning up the pace in their Golf to go fifth fastest and somewhat bewildering Amlay and Ganief found themselves only sixth fastest. The Levy Jive entries seventh and eighth.

And then it all changed as 11.3km into SS3 John and Weston Peiser found the spectator point so attractive they promptly broke the clutch on the Scoobie and settled for a cold one, sportingly giving up a 1min15 lead and the opportunity to move into the championship lead. Abduraghman Amlay and Yusuf Ganief suddenly awakened to win SS3 15 seconds in their Run X, but on a short event their best efforts would not be able to make amends for the time lost. Amazingly the van Greunen cousins again posted the second fastest time with the van Rensburg Ford third and Kesevan fourth.

Having shared fourth spot overall after SS2 with the van Greunen Golf  a charge from the acciDent Guru Golf was expected but it came to nought when Paul van Wyk and Quinton Swarts found themselves relegated to spectator status having broken a driveshaft. Lourens now enjoyed a 58 second lead over Kesevan with Darren just four seconds shy of the Corolla in the nippy 1.4i Golf and Abduraghman was trying his best to close in from fourth spot.
Kesevan and Divan were the team on a charge in the Corolla and they succeeded in shrinking the gap to the Ford to a single second going into the sixth and final stage with the Golf clinging onto third spot ahead of the Run X RSi. Anwar still holding off Ebrahim for fifth and sixth spots respectively.

Sadly the challenge faltered in the final stage when the Freightmore Toyota engine cried enough, actually seizing enroute to Parc Fermé in Malmesbury. Never before had anyone been so happy to see the serious downhill section which passes directly in front of Automark Toyota and though they dropped to an eventual third place overall they managed to at least finish the event without breaking a sweat pushing the car. Who can remember the Koos Schoeman / Karl Dahl BMW E30 miraculously return to Parc Fermé having lost the entire sump some 30km earlier in Montagu?

Darren and Llewellyn van Greunen quite rightfully well pleased with second place overall in their S1 winning WBMK VW Golf MkI 1.4i. This is one result they will not forget in a hurry. Kesevan Naidoo and Divan de Goede gave it their all and though third place might sound disappointing they may feel encouraged by their ability to take the challenge to the Ford couple. Abduraghman Amlay and Yusuf Ganief should on paper have been the crew winning this event, but then , this is rallying and things rarely go 100% to plan. Anwar Levy and Jean-Pierre Jacobs fifth overall and Ebrahim Levy and Matthew Köhler sixth.

Special thanks to each and every official and spectator supporting this event.

As always Brian King saw to it that the results were available before the last car reached Parc Fermé and with Daan Terblanché approving the focus moves to round three on 9 May 2015 when the Ceres Toyota Rally will have four visiting crews from Namibia joining in the local action.

Keep an eye on www.wbmk.co.za and the Facebook events page Ceres Toyota Rally for regular updates on who would be present in the Boland.