Tar-riffic Entry for All Tar

All Tar! With a touch of gravel when you run wide or outbrake yourself, but take note! The scenery at the Killarney International Raceway are fixtures, rather solid concrete fixtures in most cases and you are advised to avoid making contact at all times! When in doubt do a Andy Haigh-Smith and spin Ettiene du Toit before disappearing down the hole in the wall, but remember to bring your own camera crew as the WPMC All Tar Rally on Saturday 4 August 2018 will not be televised, but social media reaches everywhere and interest in the Western Cape Rally Championship extends far beyond the South African borders.

Mix the current rally teams with a healthy dose of bichumen experts from various categories currently contesting the Wingfield Motors Power Series regional championships and you have the recipe for quite a spectacle and the potential for this event to grow to premier status as even your service crew are able to spectate almost every stage as the entire event is run within the Killarney International complex.

Some hate it, but possibly that should read fear it, as the event have proven itself unforgiving. Man and machine has to be well synchronised and well prepared to meet the challenge of giving it your all for 82km covering six specials stages. Yes, it is not much shorter than the older two day event and in fact could even prove to be tougher as less time will be allowed for repairs in a more streamlined and compact format that will raise the bar even more.

Constituting round five of seven in the 2018 Western Cape Rally Championship one could expect the trackers to dominate overall as the rallyists will be focusing on earning points towards their individual class and overall championship status as drivers and navigators. To the trackers this is personal bragging rights that are at stake and flatout will hopefully see them achieve their respective goals.

But, the combination of Dirk Kruger Snr and Dirk Kruger Jnr, should have the trackers break a sweat as this father and son combination have developed into something of a specialist tar rally team. The former Wesbank G&A Promotions Toyota Corolla now sports a well sorted 1.8 engine and the combined weight of the two occupants of the cockpit probably doubles the weight of the entire package. It is light and efficient and they know what to do with every horsepower available. Gunther Drotschie will probably be popping the celebratory champagne when they start stage one!

Depending on who rises to the challenge from the racing stables they are not unbeatable and should anyone succeed in breaking their apparent dominance it would indeed be something of an achievement. On the flip side it also offer track racers the opportunity to see what the sport of rallying entails and simply reaching the final Parc Fermé will leave the combination with much to reminisce over the next year. If your name should be Steve Bekker you would still be bragging about missing the Pit Wall by less than the thinnest blade on a feeler gauge and the Opel Kadett should leak water before the start in fear of repeating the feat in 2018! More importantly each and every team present must enjoy the event.

Going into the second half of the season it is most encouraging to note that after round 3 the championship lead was shared and after round 4 it is still being shared!  Round 1 took competitors to the fast sweeping roads of the iKapa Reticulation and Flow Klipdale Rally roads in the Overberg and then it was a midnight start in Malmesbury for the REACT Night Rally in the dusty and dry, farmland, Swartland before moving to an even drier and cold, technical, Koue Bokkeveld for the Ceres Toyota Rally. Darling presented the teams with the first wet event in years and the soft sand certainly claimed a few teams.

Now they face tarmac and other than changing tyres the regional teams do not have much more to change in preparation for a completely different driving style. The All Tar is all about commitment and the slightest slip could see you back in the clubhouse, but it is also very satisfying when you do manage to tick all the blocks and finish without mishap.

Not only is Western Province Motor Club hosting a round of the Western Cape Rally Championship, they are also currently sharing the overall championship lead with father and son John and Weston Peiser (Plattekloof based father and son) top of the standings in their Speed Pro Cycling Equipment 425 WPMC S5 Subaru Impreza GT 4x4 Turbo 2.0. Now John does not enjoy night rallying and he does not like the tarmac event as he claims to be much older than his Impreza (which we might add is the very first Subaru to have ever rallied in South Africa in the hands of Nicholas Ryan). Now the Scooby is maintained by Subaru Somerset West and Weston has youth favouring him as navigator, should they not consider the weakest link ……………..

Okay, maybe there will be no review of this event? Ismaeel Davids (Rondebosch) and Yusuf Ganief (Surrey Estate) have taken the challenge to the Scoobies by acquiring the ex-Damseaux S2000 Toyota Run X 4x4 of Namibian star driver, Wilro Dippenaar, and with some valued assistance of 10x SA Rally Drivers Champion, Serge Damseaux, het secured second place in Darling after a steady debut. However, sound level restrictions and the tight nature of the All tar will see the combination return to their ID Paving 431 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6 in an effort to retain the shared lead of the 2018 points log. Ironic that though the Run X 4x4 is prepared to full FIA approved homologation standards it is now deemed too loud to enter an event at the Killarney International Raceway?

Depending on who they face as challengers on the 2018 edition of the WPMC All Tar this could prove a wise move as the RXi Corolla have proven very successful in the hands of defending Western Cape Rally Champions, Ettiene du Toit (Edgemead) and Patrick Vermaak (Strand) as twice winners of the All Tar Rally. They have not enjoyed a great season to date and would really enjoy getting back into their stride with the Kranzle, Stunt Network, Voyabex, Tyrezone and Quickshade supported Team 467 WBMK S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6. Ettiene cut his teeth on tarmac and knows Killarney well from most angles, but they need a clean event to regain momentum in the championship.

Another combination who have proven to be blindingly quick is Keenan Sassman (Edgemead) and Clint Lingeveldt (Lansdowne) in their Howard Centre Motors 413 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6 but they too have had a fairly dismal season in terms of results and would also be aiming for a good overall position at Killarney.

The surprise of the 2018 S3 category has to be the impressive pace and consistency shown by Darren van Greunen (Bellville) and Quinton Swarts (Langebaan) in the Vyekraal Dairy 415 WBMK S3 Toyota Run X RSi 1.6. To date they have simply not made any mistakes and Darren holds the high jump record in the pits with his ex-Gugu Zulu VW Golf! Based on sheer determination this is the danger combination and they will not be reigning in the horses on Saturday 4 August 2018.

Llewellyn Jones (Somerset West) and Christophé Pichon (Welgemoed) won the first two events started in their new CEJ Plant Hire 434 CPMCC S5 Subaru Impreza WRX STi 4x4 Turbo 4x4 and will be equally determined to finish on the top step of the podium. Despite the fact that the 4x4 drivers will complain about their cars being heavy and cumbersome the fact of the matter remains that they are more than capable of winning overall. John Peiser and Llewellyn Jones now number one and two on the Western Cape Drivers seeding list so beware of the S5 cars!

John Clift (Gansbaai) and Derick Clift (Paarl) another father and son combination that have certainly been surprising themselves over the past few seasons in their ECW Engineering 418 WBMK S4 Toyota Hilux 2.0 and they really do not care what surface they have to drive on at all.

Team 432 another ultra consistent team with Andy Haigh-Smith (Malmesbury) and Tania Vermaak (Strand) intent on adding another fine result to their tally in the AHS Racing 432 CPMCC / WBMK S3 Mitsubishi Lancer GT1600. Not only are they currently third overall on the points log, they are actually heading the S3 despite them driving the oldest and most underpowered car in the category. Did we mention that at age 70 Andy Haigh-Smith is also the most senior active rally driver in South Africa!

John and Weston Peiser share two wins apiece with Llewellyn Jones and Chritophé Pichon and both would like to add a third overall victory. Class S4 have seen four different winners in four events with Paul Emmanuel (Constantia) and Michelle Taylor (Plattekloof) winning in the Overberg, John and Derick Clift winning in the Swartland, Ebrahim Mia and Ameen Snell taking Ceres and Anthony Connelly (Kuilsrivier) and Shawn Nefdt (Kensington) taking victory in Darling. Can Winston Neethling (Kensington) and Lyle Marais (Kensington) or Trevor Hodges (Ottery) and Ian Thebus (Edgemead) surprise at Killarney.

Ettiene du Toit and Craig Gray took S3 honours at Klipdale whilst Keenan Sassman and Clint Lingeveldt won at Malmesbury with Darren van Greunen and Quinton Swart taking both Ceres and Darling. They would be wise to keep an eye on the returning VW Polo of André Cleenwerck and Justin Gay as this car is fresh from a complete rebuild and hungry to succeed. Ismaeel Davids and Yusuf Ganief have also proven their worth would be keen to steal a class win.

The consistency of Andy Haigh-Smith (Malmesbury) / Tania Vermaak (Strand), Julian Calvert (Goodwood) and Marius Rudolph (Bothasig) and unpredictability of Erin Joshua (Retreat) and Dylan Timmes (Muizenberg), Faizel Davids / Terry Croy and a few more makes this the most competitive category of the championship for the second successive year and still they come!

Tariq Khatib and Faiz Idas have developed into another consistent team in their class S2 VW Golf MkI 1.6 and they will have the rear wheel driven cars of Warren Köhler (Heathfield) / Jean-Pierre Jacobs (Strand) and Johann Zulch (Ceres) / Petra Zulch (Ceres) to contend with.

Oh, did we mention the fact that should it rain, this will become a completely different rally as wet tarmac presents yet another challenge to competitors. Worse still would be a little bit of rain that leaves the surface greasy difficult to judge, but that is why rallying remains the ultimate challenge in motorsport!

Mustapha Mia and Lyle Marais return in the 456 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla Rxi 1.6 with Faizel Davids and Matt Kohler in support with their similar 422 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6. Ebrahim Mia and Ameen Snell have their neat 420 CCMCC S4 Toyota Tazz 1.8 ready whilst Shaheen and Ibraheem Amlay will be putting the rapid Amlay Motorsport 402 CCMCC Toyota Run X RSi 1.8 through it’s paces.

Do not however forget about the very rapid Hollandse Motors 405 WBMK S4 VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 16v of Rupert van Zyl and Pieter van Zyl. This car has often surprised at Killarney.

On the Challenge side the long awaited return of Paul-Hendrik Franken attracts much attention and he will have Hilton Auffray guiding the Maintou Group VW Polo Vivo 2.0 on the day. Rishay Moodley and Warren Lawrence will have the legendary E30 1.9 BMW present whilst Steve and Seth Griffin-Wintle with leave the commentators tongue tied in their Ford Escort 2.0. Cedric and Basie Burger should prove an interesting entry in their D25 Honda Ballade 2.0 whilst Steve Bekker and Jaco van Zyl needs no intro in that black Access Auto 777 Opel Kadett GTE. A second GTi Challenge entry will be Emile Assure and Jer-Min Lyou in their neat 56 VW Polo 6R.

However, be warned! Dirk Kruger Snr and Jnr wears the target on their back for a reason – they are normally way ahead and intend staying there!