The Swartland beckons!

Leading the challenge for overall honours during the CEJ Plant Hire Malmesbury Rally on Saturday 8 September 2018 will be Llewellyn Jones and Christophé Pichon in their CEJ Plant Hire 434 CPMCC S5 Subaru Impreza 4x4 Turbo 2.0. Having won the REACT Night Rally Malmesbury on debut they most certainly would enjoy winning the penultimate round of the 2018 Western Cape Rally Championship!

Round 6 of the 2018 Western Cape Rally Championship will see twenty one teams tackle eight challenging stages some of the most historic farms in the Swartland, and being the penultimate round, every point earned could prove decisive. Vogelgezang (10.62km) has seen some brilliant rallying in the past and the popular opening stage changes character in 2018 with the most welcome rain that have been received in the Swartland district during recent weeks. Though no rain is predicted for Saturday 8 September 2018 there will undoubtedly be enough standing water on the route to catch the unwary.

Completing Vogelgezang without mishap would be crucial as there will be no service opportunity before tackling the longest special stage of the event, the demanding 20.26km of Rotzenberg, and then they repeat the same lop before the lunch break back in Malmesbury. Though the view across the Swartland is quite breathtakingly beautiful at the moment those competing will not be able to appreciate the beauty, whilst negotiating tricky surface changes, standing water, drifts and dips ----- and did we mention standing water!

Father and son, John and Weston Peiser, currently lead the points challenge overall in their Speed Pro Cycling Components 425 WPMC S5 Subaru Impreza GT 4x4 Turbo 2.0 and their objective would simply be to stay ahead of the ID Paving 431 CCMCC S5 Toyota Run X 4x4 (S2000) of Ishmail Davids and Yusuf Ganief. The latter combination switched from their S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6i to the S2000 Run X and this car should be one of the big attractions of the event as the newcomers to the 4x4 category cannot afford to hold back in their attempt to win the 2018 championship.

They also contested the most recent round of the Eastern Cape Rally Championship in the ID Paving 431 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6i where they achieved a commendable 12th overall despite running a fever and simply not being on proper pace as a result. Actually, it is most encouraging to note the constant development of the coastal regional rallies with Natal also starting to put those magical roads to good use again.  

Given the expected wet and muddy conditions the 4x4 clan will certainly be starting the event with a major advantage and sees the return of Winston Neethling and Lyle Marais in their ex-Hannes Grobler Howard Centre Motors 428 CCMCC S5 Nissan Sentra 4x4 2.0. Keenan Sassman and Randall Marais will also be worth watching as they have opted for 1800 power in their Howard Centre Motors 413 CCMCC S4 Toyota Corolla RXi and their main rivals will be Shaheen Amlay and Ibraheem Amlay in the Amlay Motorsport 402 CCMCC S4 Toyota Run X RSi 2.0.

Paul Emmanuel and Robin Benjamin share the 449 CCMCC / CPMCC S4 VW Polo 2.0 whilst the ever consistent combination of John and Derick Clift will be right at home on the Swartland farms in their ECW Engineering 418 WBMK S4 Toyota Hilux 2.0. Once again conditions should favour the more powerful S4 machines as the wet surface drains engine power.

Darren van Greunen and Quinton Swarts have proven exceptional in their Vyekraal dairy sponsored 415 WBMK / CPMCC S3 Toyota Run X and even missed the recent WPMC All Tar Rally as they wanted to prepare for the remaining gravel events and one has to expect an all out effort by this crew. Defending  Western Cape champions, Ettiene du Toit and Patrick Vermaak, have not enjoyed a great season in the Team 467 WBMK Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6i and are keen to complete their year with solid results.

Clint and Lloyd Lingeveldt have brought their 435 CCMCC S3 Toyota Conquest 1.6i out of hibernation whilst Warren Scholtz and Justin Gay are also confident of a good result in their 444 CPMCC S3 VW Polo 2.0. Riyaan and Yaseen Amlay always a dark hors combination in their Ramlay Builders 433 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6i whilst Faizel Davids and Terry Croy also have the potential to upset in their red 422 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6i.

Erin Joshua and Ian Thebus will be aiming for another great experience in the ex-Andre George 462 CCMCC S3 Toyota Conquest 1.6i with the ever consistent Julian Calvert and Marius Rudolph will once again be hoping that Lulu delivers good results. The 409 CCMCC / WBMK S3 VW Golf MkII 2.0 rarely fails to reach the finish.

Andy Haigh-Smith and Tania Vermaak have their sights set on another consistent run in their AHS Racing 432 CPMCC / WBMK S3 Mitsubishi Lancer GT1600. Though this might not be considered the most brutal rally car it certainly has earned it’s nickname as the “Yellow Submarine” and it enjoys extremely wet events. New to the rallying fraternity will be husband and wife combination, Marius and Angela Swart in their orange 438 WBMK VW Golf MkI 2.0 8v. Better known on the WBMK Gymkhana events the Stellenbosch couple have longed for the opportunity to go rallying and their sole goal would be to reach the final Parc Fermé.

Kevin Calvert and Brian Hoskins return in the 436 WPMC S2 VW Golf MkI 1.5 and after a whole year of rehabilitation this car could well prove to be a surprise on the day. Johann and Petra Zulch enjoyed a class win on the WPMC All Tar Rally in their classic Ceres Toyota 439 WBMK S2 Ford Escort 1600 Sport and will do their utmost to repeat the feat in the Swartland.

Matthew Köhler and Wendy Mitchell will be present in their neat Crest Max 401 CCMCC VW Golf MkI 1.4i. Though the format of the 2018 VW Driver’s search have certainly proven controversial the presence of both Matthew Köhler and Shaheen Amlay was encouraging for the Western Cape and both reached the top eight, whilst Shaheen Amlay qualified for the final two. The result to be determined during the Port Elizabeth 4 Hour at Aldo Scribante later in the year.

Spectators will be able to watch the entire field of cars at each of the four spectator points (SS2+4 and SS5+7). Bottelfontein (SS5+7) will be the shortest stage of the event at 8.05km and with the 9.49km Kalbaskraal (SS6+8) the second loop of stages should prove rewarding for all the teams.

Thank you to CEJ Plant Hire, Amandla Construction, Tac Steel, Iselula Mobile Crushing, K&H Freight, Hi Clean, Vital Engineering & Angus Mcleod and Teng Tools for their continued support of the Western Cape Rally Championship. This, the penultimate round of the 2018 Western Cape Championship with the final round around Riebeek Kasteel on 6 October 2018.

For more information follow the CEJ Plant Hire Rally on Facebook with all relevant documentation available on www.wbmk.co.za.

Our sincere condolences to Pierre van der Westhuizen and family with the passing of Beatrice. Pierre (Honorary President) and Beatrice (Secretary) served on the Witzenberg Motorklub committee for all of it’s 35 year existence.