Peiser Subaru wins Klipdale

Think Klipdale and too much or too little comes to mind. Either too hot, too windy, too cold, too dry or too wet. Saturday 17 March 2018 it was dry, dusty and hot but pretty well balanced to allow the fourteen teams present for the 2nd iKapa Reticulation & Flow Rally Klipdale to contest each of the eight special stages without running into each other’s dust.

Round one of the 2018 Western Province Rally Championship always looks pretty easy on the route notes but Kesevan Naidoo cannot disguise the ever present sting in the tail, the inevitably high speed nature of the route, and it certainly finds the most minute weakness in preparation by any team hunting for a good opening round result.

Trevor Hodges left the orange VW Golf home and elected to be secretary of the event in addition to his recent election as Chairman Cape Car & MotorCycle Club. Daan Terblanche had to leave home pretty early as Clerk of the Course. Rally HQ was at the Klipdale silo’s (after so many years a rally landmark) and it was John & Weston Peiser that led the field away to start special stage one aptly named Geskenk (14.59km).

When the times came in though it was Keenan Sassman and Clint Lingeveldt fourteen seconds clear of Shaheen Amlay / Matthew Köhler and Darren van Greunen / Quinton Swarts. Sassman was expected to come out guns ablaze in the Howard Centre Motor 413 S3 CCMCC Toyota Corolla RXi 1600 but Shaheen and Darren was certainly something new on the score sheets. Sadly the hectic pace on SS1 saw the Sassman Corolla grind to a halt enroute to SS2 with an expensive sound emanating from the cylinder head.

Shaheen Amlay kept the momentum going by posting the fastest time on SS2 (Mietjieskloof 11.84km) with Darren van Greunen second fastest and Ettiene du Toit third fastest, with Craig Gray as navigator. Just as everyone started checking whether they were indeed at the correct event John & Weston Peiser popped up as fastest on SS3 (Geskenk 2), sixteen seconds quicker than the opening time set by the Corolla.

John and Weston Peiser developed a leaking exhaust on the Speed Pro Cycling Equipment 425 S4 WPMC Subaru Impreza GT 2.0 Turbo 4x4 which led to a waterpipe actually melting. The service crew really pulling out all the stops to make running repairs after SS2 and the Scoobie was clearly not going to be held back for the rest of the day. Winston Neethling and Kesevan Naidoo joined the retirements having buzzed the engine of the Howard Centre Motors 428 S5 Nissan Sentra 2.0 4x4 on a SS1 high speed yump.

SS4 was a repeat of SS2 and John Peiser clipped another ten seconds off the winning time whilst Ettiene du Toit improved by twelve, Shaheen third (one second down on his stage winning time in SS2). Hermanusheuwel  another well known Overberg spectator stage and the 12.99km was covered in just 9min19 by the rampant Scoobie with Darren van Greunen second fastest and Shaheen Amlay third fastest. Driving with a new navigator showed as Ettiene du Toit posted fourth on what was now a new stage as combination.

Ebrahim Mia and Ibraheem Amlay forced to withdraw after SS5 when the pressure plate collapsed on their neatly prepared Amlay Motorsport 420 S4 CCMCC Toyota Conquest 1.8. Stages six and seven would be a repeat of the 10.55km America  stage before Hermanusheuwel provided a final spectator opportunity.

John and Weston Peiser continued to own the fastest time of the stages slot and the Speed Pro Cycling Components 425 S5 WPMC Subaru Impreza GT 2.0 Turbo 4x4 finally made it the finish of a Klipdale Rally with a well deserved victory for the father and son combination.

Who would have thought that a 2001 Subaru Impreza GT would make it’s South African debut in the hands of Nicholas Ryan in 2004 and then win the WP Championship 2008 John Peiser / Brian Hoskins, 2011 John Peiser / Craig Gray and 2014 John Peiser / Weston Peiser. Now in it’s fourteenth season they could well add a second father and son title in 2018.

Ettiene du Toit (2017 WP Champion Driver) and Craig Gray (2011 WP Champion Navigator) threw caution to the wind on SS8 to improve by 23 seconds and not even an errant X5 driver on stage could stop them from filling a fighting second overall in the Team 467 S3 WBMK Toyota Corolla RXi 1600. Riyaan and Yaseen Amlay slotted into third overall with their Ramlay Builders 433 S3 CCMCC Toyota Corolla RXi 1600 on debut and they certainly look capable of becoming serious challengers this year.

Andy Haigh-Smith and Tania Vermaak started their season on an absolute high as the venerable AHS Racing 432 S2 CPMCC / WBMK Mitsubishi Lancer GT1600 is not known for it’s high speed pace in general. Fourth overall and first in class S2 a superb effort. Ismaeel Davids and Yusuf Ganief haemorrhaged time on the final stage with no brakes after having broken a brake line on a rock to claim fifth overall in the ID Paving 431 S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1600. A misfire on SS2 and a two minute early penalty did not exactly lift their spirits either and this team will certainly be looking forward to better things.

Tariq Khatib and Idas Faiz accepted sixth overall and second in class S2 with a smile in the Isaacs Motors 412 S2 CCMCC VW Golf MkI 1600 after having had to change the gearbox during the midway service, and they arrived at Perc Fermé with a flat right front tyre. Julian Calvert and Marius Rudolph drove their normal consistent self and the 409 S3 CCMCC / WBMK VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 was rewarded with seventh overall and 4th in class S3. The final team classified as finishers were Paul Emmanuel and Michelle Taylor in the 449 S4 CCMCC VW Polo 2.0. Writing examinations till 17h00 on the Friday had Michelle burn the midnight oil to prepare their notes and the result was well deserved.

Having shown great pace Shaheen Amlay and Matthew Köhler were unfortunately forced to accept outside assistance during the final special stage and the Amlay Motorsport 402 S4 CCMCC Toyota Run X was excluded from the results. Abduraghman “Manie” Amlay have to be admired for his dedication to local rallying as we now have 21 year old Moegamat Shaheen (youngest son of Manie), 21 year old Ibraheem (son of Bassier – Manie’s youngest brother’s son), 36 year old Riyaan (Manie’s cousin’s son), Yaseen (manie’s other brothers son), 31 year old Ebrahim Mia (borther’s sister in laws son) competing under the Amlay Motorsport banner. Fortunately he is already silver grey! Now add Mustapha and Rafick Mia (his sister’s sons) and Taahir Amlay to confirm the fact that officially Abduraghman does not have time to prepare anything for himself to drive!

For the first time since officially starting to rally the ECW Engineering 418 S4 WBMK Toyota Hilux 2.0 in the Western Cape John and Derick Clift was unfortunately forced to retire from an event when they managed to hit a rock which punctured both left hand side tyres. Then the jack broke and then the power bar broke! Then their sense of humour broke and they wisely decided to call it a day!

Darren van Greunen and Quinton Swarts another combination that impressed in their 415 S3 WBMK Toyota Run X 1.6 until the gear selector fork broke on SS6. The spectator points were quite nice and those present have to be complimented on keeping the areas litter free.

Round two will be a night affair and did we mention that route notes at night becomes rather challenging as your vision is limited to what your lights have to offer! Rallies used to start at 22h00 and finished at about 09h00 the next morning and to many of the seniors this is real rallying. The youngsters simply do not know better.

Since Mike Nathan could not enter Klipdale he now has adequate time to enter Malmesbury and hopefully a few more will join the fray. Gareth Vernon is nearing completion of his 2.0 Pinto powered Ford Escort MkI and that should get Johann Zulch moving in his Ford Escort MkII Sport. Warren Köhler already have his Toyota Corolla RWD ready whilst the ex-Klaasen 434 S5 Subaru Impreza WRX STi Turbo 4x4 of Llewellyn Jones will be making it’s debut soon. And just in case you wondered what happened to the Namibian visitors. They all have plans to do WC events during the year but Oswaldo Mendes will certainly be back for round two in the Skyway 129 S5 WBMK Subaru Impreza WRX STi Turbo 4x4.