Rally or Racing - Pride at Stake

As the defending Fix-a-Smash All Tar Rally Champions, Lourens and Nina van Rensburg will be in determined frame of mind to repeat their victory in the 7Flims / LLJ Racing S1600 / S5 WPMC Ford Fiesta R2 1600. Something of a tarmac specialist and this R2 is fitted with proper tarmac suspension, simply the perfect weapon with which to commence battle. Such a pity this combination does not at this stage contest every round of the championship.

Rallying pride is always at stake as this is home territory to every category of tarmac racer and they will enjoy nothing less than to beat the rallyist at their own game and the presence of Dirk Snr and Dirk Jnr Kruger must have the rally teams worried as this ex-Wesbank class B Toyota Corolla is more than capable of running with the best. They have lost this battle by a single second against the Ugly Duckling S3 WBMK Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6 of Ettiene du Toit and Patrick Vermaak.

Seeing Shaun Jones and Mark Avice du Buisson entered in the ex-Klaasen S5 CPMCC Subaru STi WRX 4x4 Turbo 2.0 must have one anticipating quite a spectacle as they have never been known to be subtle in their approach to rallying, irrespective of surface. Winston Neethling and Lyle Marais joins them as 4x4 in the normally aspirated ex-Hannes Grobler S5 Nissan Sentra 4x4 and should it again be wet their chances will only be improving. 43 can only be Gunter Drotschie with Martin van Staden navigating but they too will be an unknown quantity as they are set to make their appearance in a G&A Promotions class C WPMC Mitsubishi Evo, which have since been substituted with the awesome classic left hand drive WPMC Chevrolet Coupé V8. Driving with the number of King Petty this has to be good!

Fresh from their first national class win on the Bela Bela Rally in the Manitou Group S1600 WBMK VW Polo R2 1600 Gansbaai engineering student, Paul-Hendrik Franken, and Vredenburg based navigator, Henry Köhne, will enjoy their first outing in their S4 WBMK E36 BMW 325i and this venue suites the Beemer perfectly. Henry will also be navigating for Etienne Malherbe in the final leg of the Eastern Cape Rally Championship on 5/6 December in the rampant Datsun 160U SSS but a broken tie-rod stopped their progress on the opening night. 

Rupert and Pieter van Zyl will also be making their debut in a S4 WBMK E36 BMW 328i, the car normally campaigned by Shaun Jones. Rupert also deceptively quick on tarmac and this Beemer is no slouch. Clinton and Cohen (youngest of the Sassman sons) Sassman will also be a serious threat in their S4 CCMCC E30 BMW 328. Second overall in 2013 was well deserved and they would love to repeat this feat.

Keenan Sassman and Matthew Köhler lead the S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6 challengers in their CCMCC entry. Considered by many to be a true talent this young combination could well prove to be the surprise package of the event as their lack of brute power is well compensated for in raw courage and skill. Jacques Theron and Francois Erasmus join forces in the ex-Kobus Roos S3 WPMC / WBMK Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6 and though still an unknown quantity they could well prove irritating to the leading gaggle.  André George has Robin Benjamin as navigator in the 401 S3 Toyota Conquest RSi 1.6 whilst JP Brewis and Mike Mitchell start as the dark horses in their S4 Toyota Run X RSi 1.8. Abduraghman Amlay and Yusuf Ganief need no introduction in their Amlay Motorsport S4 Toyota Run X RSi 1.8 and they certainly are capable of challenging for overall victory. Martin Esterhuyse Snr and Mareli de Lange set to make their debut as combination in the Harry Giliomee S3 Toyota Breadvan 1.8, and should the car prove reliable they will undoubtedly be popular with the spectators.

The VW challenge will be led by André Cleenwerck and Justin Gay in their screaming S3 CPMCC VW Polo 1.6 20v but keeping a watchful eye on the progress of Tiaan Rabe and Nico Esterhuyse in the Time 2 Go Travel S2 WBMK VW Golf MkI 1.6. Fagerie Isaacs and Tariq Khatib will also be keen on a good result in their S2 CCMCC VW Golf MkI 1.6 whilst Justin and Brian Hoskins will be feeling right at home in the S2 VW Golf MkI. The veteran Clerk of the Course possible the individual who have spent the most hours of his life at this venue.

At a wild guess it must be more than thirty years since Armien Levy found himself behind the wheel of a rally car, and back in his days that would have been a rear wheel driven Nosarka Tyres Datsun SSS. Now behind the wheel of his son’s Jive S3 CCMCC VW Polo 2.0 he will have Derek Jacobs taking the blame for every overshoot as navigator.

Gavin Cerff and Ernest Roos are the track specialists most likely to run up front with the rapid Spur class B VW Golf MkI. Kruger Snr and Jnr would be happy to have them as support whilst the presence of two class A WPMC E36 BMW 328i entries have certainly strengthened the closed circuit contingent. Danie and Vicki van Niekerk have become regulars on this event and their Beemer is now well sorted whilst Gary Fourie and Shaun Ludwig will want to chase a good result.

Rishay Moodley and Warren Lawrence return in the ex-Murudker Fix-a-Smash class B CCMCC BMW E30 1.9 and they have proven both entertaining and quick. Just watch Salvan Moodley destroy his fingernails in the pits when Rishay is on stage! Anwar Levy had to give up his rally car so that Armien could return to the sport but he will have Jean-Pierre Jacobs navigating in his class C CCMCC VW Golf 2.0 on this occasion. Desmond Harding and Fritz Blom return in the never say die class A WBMK Chana LDV, hopefully without that persistent misfire!

Dexter Bruce and Ernest Page are also siding with the closed circuit specialists in their class B CCMCC VW Golf 2.0. Francoise Groenewald and Jaco van Zyl return in what this writer considers the best rally car of the day, their class A WPMC Datsun GX Coupé. It will never win the event overall but it lifts it’s front wheel at every opportunity swings it’s rear on every corner and simply looks like the most fun car in which to contest this event. The type of car in which one could finish stone last and still wear the biggest smile of all – the true spirit of rallying! David van Schalkwyk and Conrad Kolbe an unknown factor in their class B CCMCC VW Golf Citi 1.8.

All 27 cars are already in Parc Ferme at Killarney having completed Scrutineering at 20h10 on Thursday evening and they will be heading for Service Park A from 18h30 today, Friday 12 December 2014. SS1 is simply known as Killarney and at 9.29km this will be a testing opening stage from 19h00.  Just one special stage tonight but it will undoubtedly have a decided effect on the result of this event.

Saturday sees teams start off with the popular Twister 1 over 15.20km from 08h30.  A real nightmare for the inexperienced and a treasure for spectators as inevitably this stage will catch someone in some mysterious way. Survive it unscathed and you will be happy to learn that Twister is to be repeated from 09h30 as SS3 of the event.

Expect no sympathy as SS4 will simply be the Twister – Reverse Direction 1 from 10h30 and just to make sure you remember these stages for life you will be offered one final opportunity as SS4 will be Twister  - Reverse Direction 2 from 11h30. The cherry on top then a head to head challenge of the survivors with Super Special 1 at 13h00 and Super Special 2 at 14h00. In special stage distance the event will cover 73.39km of demanding tarmac with just 12.38km of liaison section.

Can the rallyists defend their status as overall winners of the annual Fix-a-Smash All Tar Killarney Rally or will this be the first opportunity for the closed circuit experts to spoil their fun?

Be there and witness the result in person!