Overberg Opens 2018 WP Rally Championship

The opening round of the 2018 Western Province Rally Championship is set for Saturday 17 March 2018 and the 2nd iKapa Reticulation and Flow Rally will undoubtedly get the rallying season of to a flying start as the Overberg district is renowned for it’s fast flowing routes.

Returning from a ten year sabbatical in 2017 Ettiene du Toit (35 years old) and Patrick Vermaak (56 years old) found themselves back in their trusty Team 467 S3 WBMK Toyota Corolla RXi 1600 with valued support from Supa Mac (Frederik and Tanya Heroldt), Voyabex, Tyrezone, Stunt Network, Avis Van Rental and Kontra Signs. Completely rebuilt the crew had no time to test and required an event or two to find their rhythm again. However, their season could not have finished any better as they won the 2017 Western Province Rally Championship. In 2007 they won the South African Gp N2 Championship and to win the Western Province Rally Championship was a real highlight. 

Ettiene du Toit will however be starting his title defense with Craig Gray in the suicide seat of the S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6. 

Multiple Western Province Champions, John (51 years old father) and Winston (23 years old son) Peiser, are sticking to their regular Speed Pro Cycling Equipment S5 WPMC Subaru Impreza GT 2.0 Turbo and the proven package will be ready to pounce on any opportunity, having just returned from a relaxing tour through Namibia.

Having almost become locals on the Namibian Tara the Clift Hilux officially starts it’s second season of regional rallying this weekend and the S4 WBMK Toyota Hilux will be in the hands of father and son combination, John (67 years old) and Derick (39 years old) Clift. They so nearly finished second overall in the regional championship in 2017 and reliability remains their biggest asset.

Last year we said  that Herman Mathee is not ill, there is simply a whole lot less of him around since he had taken up serious mountain biking. In fact, his efforts to trim the Madev S4 WBMK Datsun GX Coupé down in size with neat new flares have simply allowed Ruan Reynders the freedom to not face the normal threat to navigators with respect to weight limitations.

Truth is that had Herman not decided to get married he might well have been the WP champion, but this year he is not well. Well, 90% of him is fine, but his left foot will be stuck in a Moon Boot for six weeks after an unfortunate collision with a bakkie. They will be back – eventually!

Ismaeel Davids (29 years old) will have veteran, Yusuf Ganief, navigating in the ex-Namibian Xtreme Contractors S3 CCMCC Toyota Corolla RXi 1600 whilst the talented Keenan Sassman will have Clint Lingeveldt navigating the Howard Centre Motors S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1600. The dark horse combination as Keenan have both the car and the talent to chase for overall honours. Darren van Greunen will have Quinton Swarts as navigator in the S3 Toyota Run X 1.6.

Amlay Motorsport will enjoy a rather busy day as Moegamat Amlay and Matthew Köhler find themselves strapped into the S4 Toyota Run X RSi 1.8 whilst Riyaan Amlay and Yassen Amlay will be in command of the Ramlay S3 CCMCC Toyota Corolla RXi 1600. Ebrahim Mia (31 years old) and Ibraheem Amlay take control of the S4 CCMCC Toyota Conquest 1.8. Julian Calvert and Marius Rudolph return in Lulu, the S3 CCMCC VW Golf 2.0 and if consistency is key to results they will feature strongly. Paul Emmauel and Michelle Taylor return in the S4 CCMCC VW Polo 2.0.

Andy Haigh-Smith (70 years young) and Tania Vermaak (23 years old) enjoyed a great debut season  in the never say never “Yellow Submarine” AHS Racing S3 CPMCC Mitsubishi Lancer GT1600. Though Andy may claim to be the senior citizen in local rallying he certainly remains very capable behind the wheel and his young protegé will certainly benefit from his experience going into their second season.

Winston Neethling will have route note guru Kesevan Naidoo as navigator in the Howard Centre Motors S5 CCMCC Nissan Sentra STi 2.0 4x4. Tariq Khatib and Idas Faiz currently the fourteenth and final entry in their S2 CCMCC VW Golf MkI 1.6.

The eight special stage event will see competitors cover 99.94km in competitive mode whilst 248.16km covers the entire event. SS1 is known as Geskenk and the 14.59km special is repeated as SS3 with the 11.84km Mietjieskloof stage two repeated as four. Special stage 3 is known as Hermanusheuwel (reverse of the well known Antoinette special stage) and covers 12.99km to be repeated as the final SS8. Special stages 6 and 7 is known as America and will cover 10.55km.

Three spectator points will allow great viewing of the competing crews within close proximity to the central service park. Please note that the Western Cape is extremely dry and water levels are critically low. Please refrain from using open fires, do not litter and minimise the use of water.

Join us for what promises to be a great event in the Overberg!