Riebeek a champions podium!

Llewellyn Jones (Somerset West) and Christophé Pichon (Welgemoed) are the 2019 Western Cape Rally Champions! When the CEJ plant Hire 434 CPMCC S5 Subaru WRX STi 2.0 Turbo AWD entered Parce Fermé at the Pulpit Rock Winery in Riebeek Wes on Saturday 5 October 2019 the crew secured their fifth consecutive victory in hot, dry and dusty conditions. A left front puncture on SS2 their only minor handicap whilst completing the 55th Western Cape Rally Championship.

John Peiser (Panorama) and Weston Peiser (Panorama) celebrated their return to the series with a brilliant second position overall in their Speed Pro Cycling Components 425 WPMC S5 Subaru Impreza GT 2.0 Turbo AWD. As a four times drivers champion and tow times navigator champion they truly kept the new champions honest throughout the event, finishing a mere 28 seconds down. They would complete SS2 with a flat left rear tyre.

Shaun Jones (Brackenfell) and Jason Thorpe (Brackenfell) secured the final step on the podium in their 2016 championship winning Advanced Asphalt 424 CPMCC S5 Subaru WRX STi 2.0 Turbo AWD a further thirty seconds down. The only flat involved with this team was flatout!

When the final event of the championship season achieves a podium of three Western Cape champion drivers the region can certainly feel proud of the progress made over the past three seasons rebuilding both quality and quantity in every class. May Subaru also appreciate the fact that as manufacturer these privateer entries locked out the podium.

Somewhat outgunned on the fast, sweeping, roads of the Riebeek Valley Rally fourth place still represented a fantastic effort by Paul-Hendrik Franken (Gansbaai) and Matt-Jason Köhler (Heathfield) in the giant killing front wheel drive 1000cc – 3 cylinder – turbocharged Franken Motorsport 125 WPMC S5 VW Polo Vivo GT. Nobody could have predicted the phenomenal performance achieved by this new car, totally dominating the two wheel driven field. Not even completing SS2 without brakes could spoil their day.

Though the championship results still have to be ratified by Motorsport South Africa Mustapha Mia (Kensington) and Ameen Snell (Ottery) finished the final event a superb fifth overall in the Mia’s Motorsport 456 CCMCC S3 Toyota Tazz 1.6i to claim their first Western Cape class title with a  dominant class victory.

Sakkie van Zyl (Wellington) and Henry Köhne (Johannesburg) proved that their debut class win on the recent Swartland Rally was no fluke by placing the Shatterfix 404 WPMC S2 Volkswagen Golf MkI 1.6i sixth overall, taking their second consecutive class win. Maybe Henry should consider moving back to the Western Cape for 2020?

Derick Clift (Paarl) and Marius Rudolph (Bothasig) crawled into parc fermé with a very sick sounding ACW Engineering 418 CPMCC S4 Toyota Hilux 2.0 LDV, having first broken a sideshaft and then destroying the clutch whilst forcing the locked differential to suffer the imbalance. Their efforts however paying dividends as their main opposition was forced to retire. Finishing first in class allowed Derick Clift to claim the S4 drivers title making this vehicle champion for three years as John Clift (father of Derick) won two consecutive class championships.

With John Clift retiring as navigator mid season it left Marius Rudolph somewhat in the cold as far as the navigators class championship was concerned but he certainly assisted his driver in winning.

The sole intent of Erin Joshua (Retreat) and Lloyd Brady (Retreat) was to finish the final event of the season and eighth overall, second in class, exceeded their expectations in the Joshua Rallying 462 CCMCC S3 Toyota Tazz 1.6i. Their first podium result could not have tasted sweeter.  Brothers, Clint Lingeveldt (Lansdowne) and Lloyd Lingeveldt (Kenilworth), enjoyed a steady comeback drive in the very neatly prepared D&S Motorsport 435 CCMCC S3 Toyota Tazz 1.6i and were well satisfied with ninth overall position.

Riyaan Amlay (Grassy Park) and Yaseen Amlay (Retreat) unfortunately saw their very real challenge for the class championship disappear with the electricity in their engine when the coil wire dislodged itself after one of the numerous yumps in SS4. A simple problem that required ten minutes to find and tenth overall was considered something of a bonus in the Ramlay Builders 433 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6i. They will be back stronger in 2020!     

Kevin Calvert (Pinelands) and Brian Hoskins (Tableview) treated SS6 and SS8 with respect as this was where the KC Transport Rental 436 WPMC S2 Volkswagen Golf MkI 1.6i was destroyed a few years ago and the team reached the finish in a rewarding 11th overall position with the car ready to start 2020.

Ismail Amlay (Grassy Park) and Ibraheem Amlay (Retreat) should have been seventh overall but a costly error in calculation saw the debutant team incur a seven minute early penalty and then the ex-Ebrahim Mia Amlay Autoworx 458 CCMCC S4 Toyota Tazz 1.8i developed a fuel pump pressure problem for the last three stages. Twelfth overall not a fair reflection of their rally, but fortunately a new season beckons.

Julian Calvert (Goodwood) and new navigator, Nicholas Knights (Bothasig), completed their debut event in Liewe Lulu 409 CPMCC S3 VW Golf MkIII GTi 2.0 in thirteenth position overall. Charl Strydom (Durbanville) and Sakkie Bosman (Tableview) had a very frustrating event in the immaculately prepared Sabre Paints 406 CPMCC S4 VW Polo 2.0 20v as for reasons still unknown the car would cut out and then recover throughout the eight stages. Fourteenth overall does however represent their first finish in the new car and this is another combination that will return stronger in 2020.

Cobus and Reyanah Edas (Malmesbury) had high hopes for their home event in the Harkers Automotive 464 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6i. Being credited with the fastest time on SS6 does raise a few minute error frowns but the ex-Chris de Wit car was certainly on song until the fan belt jumped off on SS4 and the hapless father and daughter crew was forced to return two stages later under Super Rally rules.   

Trevor Hodges (Ottery) and Ian Thebus (Edgemead) also showed great pace until their Xtreme Racing 421 CCMCC S4 Volkswagen Golf MkIII GTi 2.0 destroyed an inner CV on SS2 and they too returned under Super Rally rules for the second half of the event. Just coincidence or was there a bad vibe present for the orange cars!

Warren Scholtz (Brackenfell) and Justin Gay (Brackenfell) was even less fortunate with their 444 CPMCC S4 VW Polo 2.0 retiring with a broken gearbox in SS2. The 2019 S@ class champions, Gareth and Gillian Vernon (Pinelands) forced to retire their 459 CPMCC S2 Volkswagen Golf MkI 1.4i with a broken front shockabsorber mounting on SS4. Seraaj Amlay (Lotus River) and Amjad Classen (Lansdowne) falling foul of a broken CV on their Ramlay Builders 457 CCMCC S3 Volkswagen Golf MkIII GTi 2.0 on SS3.

The high speed yumps certainly playing havoc with suspension on SS4 as the 447 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6i of Theodore Croy (Ottery) and Terry Croy (Ottery) was forced to retire with a broken right rear shockabsorber. There simply is no bottomless spares bin for the privately entered teams.

Marius and Angelique Swart (Stellenbosch) were looking forward to a strong finish but their (orange) EPR 4x4 438 CPMCC S3 Volkswagen Golf MkI 2.0 8v cried enough on SS6 with a suspected broken oil pump. Shaheen Amlay (Kensington) and Taahir Amlay blew the engine in their Amlay Motorsport 402 CCMCC S4 Toyota Run X RSi 1.8i the night before the rally and only completed the rebuilt at 03h00 of the morning of the event. Sadly the engine then overheated on SS4, forcing their retirement.

Class S4 championship leaders Keenan Sassman (Monte Vista) and Kesevan Naidoo (Kuilsrivier) started the event with a new engine in the Barno 413 CCMCC S4 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.8i , having to simply finish to secure the S4 drivers title. Randall Marais (Kensington) had already secured the navigators title and was enjoying an early holiday. Sadly a broken gearbox sidelined them in SS1.

Paul Emmanuel (Constantia) and Robin Benjamin (Steenberg) suffered a broken distributer rotor, then a broken outer CV and finally an incurable misfire on SS4 saw the 449 CCMCC S4 VW Polo 2.0 parked for the day. Owen Jones (Durbanville) and Michelle Taylor (Panorama) were just getting into a nice rhythm when the CEJ Plant Hire 454 CPMCC S3 VW Polo 1.6i inexplicably cut out on SS6. Unfortunately the simple wire detached from the alternator was only discovered after draining the battery and their event was run.

Brothers, Rupert van Zyl (Bellville) and Pieter van Zyl (Goodwood), started well in the Pole Assassin 405 CPMCC S4 VW Golf MkII 2.0 20v but a broken differential sidelined their efforts on penultimate SS7. The hard luck trophy on this event certainly earned by Paul van Wyk (Bloubergstrand) and Tania Vermaak (Strand) who had slowly worked their way int sixth overall only to retire the acciDent Guru 469 WBMK S3 Volkswagen Golf MkI 2.0 8v on the final stage with a broken driveshaft! Having changed the gearbox twice and replacing eight CV’s during the week retiring on the final stage was a bitter blow!

Ismail Davids (Rondebosch) and Yusuf Ganief (Surrey Estate) saw their overall championship challenge disappear on SS4 when the loan engine in the ID Paving 431 CCMCC S5 Toyota Run X 2.0 4x4 expired due to a wiring problem.  

An unexpected delay with roadworks saw the event finishing a little behind schedule but Clerk of the Course, Daan Terblanche (Langebaan), and Assistant Clerk of the Course, Pierre van der Westhuizen (Piketberg), was ably assisted by officials, radio, marshals and even spectators. The roads were challenging and the landowners must be complimented for their assistance in repairing some doubtful surfaces.

Though there certainly are many deserving of gratitude the valued support of Hyundai Malmesbury, Jarat Tours, PPC Cement, R Waan Media, Ramlay Builders, Pulpit Rock Winery and Kenilworth Karting is acknowledged.