Tarmac Rally Preview

It might be the shortest special stage distance of the 2019 Western Cape Rally Championship but the seven stages of the CPMCC Tarmac Rally will undoubtedly test each team when the fourth round of the championship takes place at the WPMC Killarney International Raceway on Saturday 13 July 2019.

Asphalt rallying is something of a unique experience in South Africa and as most of the rally cars will simply feature semi-slick tyres as the main tarmac specification. Reigning in the horns to concentrate on being squeaky clean and neat without having had any time to practice asking quite a lot, and then there is the little influence of weather to consider.

John and Weston Peiser delivered a brilliant performance in 2018 when they took the Speed Pro Cycling Components 425 WPMC S5 Subaru Impreza GT Turbo 2.0 4x4 to an impressive overall victory, going on to win the 2018 Western Rally Championship.

Many would argue that the 4x4 drivetrains do not particularly enjoy the high grip, tight cornering characteristics presented by the Killarney layout. Llewellyn Jones (Somerset West) and Christophé Pichon (Welgemoed) will have no choice but to drive for victory in their CEJ Plant Hire 434 CPMCC S5 Subaru Impreza STi Turbo 2.0 4x4 and though they have certainly proven their pace as the number one seeds the 2018 tarmac rally resulted in retirement.

Having already missed the opening round in Darling due to a family wedding they need to go for maximum points on each event if they intend beating Ismaeel Davids (Rondebosch) and Yusuf Ganief (Surrey Estate) to the 2019 title. The latter combination won the opening event in their S2000 specification ID Paving 431 CCMCC S5 Toyota Run X but found themselves following the lead of the Subaru duo since.

On Saturday 22 June 2019 a very interesting Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6 fitted with a Sadev sequential gearbox appeared on circuit during the Killarney track day and on Saturday 29 June 2019 it was also present at the RCG4x4 Trip Trans Rally Sprint 4 All. At Killarney the car really sounded impressive but it only managed a single time on gravel. With the numbers function due on Tuesday 9 July 2019 it now remains to be seen how reliable the new car would be.

Rupert van Zyl (Bellville) and Pieter van Zyl (Goodwood) are set return in the (Pole Assassin) Hollandse Motor Spesialis 405 WBMK S4 VW Golf MkII 2.0 20v (VW Polo Cup engine) and this senior VW certainly has the potential to challenge for overall honours. A missed gear halted their progress in 2018, but this remains unfinished business for the Van Zyl brothers.

They look set to have great support from the Franken Motorsport class S4 VW Polo Vivo 2.0 20v of Paul-Hendrik Franken (Gansbaai) and Matt Köhler (Heathfield). With their unique 3 cylinder 1000cc Turbo car currently being prepared to the full Vivo GT Challenge specifications (five speed gearbox with sequential shifter) set to debut at the Algoa national rally the Franken Motorsport team have opted not to contest the fifth round of the Burly Pro GTi Challenge during the 6 July 2019 Wingfield Motors Power Series in favour of contesting the Tarmac Rally.

Should it rain, the result could quite easily produce a number of surprises as wet weather neutralises the power advantages and allows pure talent to ruffle a few feathers. Keenan Sassman (Monte Vista) and Randall Marais (Kensington) will be ready to strike in the Barno 413 CCMCC S4 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.8.

In the absence of the Hairpin King, the acciDent Guru 469 WBMK S3 VW Golf MkI Citi 2.0 8v of Paul van Wyk it will be up to the Time 2 Go Travel 404 WBMK S2 VW Golf MkI 1.6 of Tiaan Rabe (Somerset West) and Nico Esterhuyse (Somerset West) to irritate the more powerful cars. The Gulf Oil colour scheme not only has this neat little car look like a Porsche, it seems to be on par in pace too!

Shaheen Amlay (Kensington) and Ibraheem Amlay (Retreat) may have clouted the pitlane wall in the past, but he has been burning the midnight oil to built a new Amlay Motorsport 402 CCMCC S4 Toyota Conquest 1.8 and with father, Abduraghman Amlay (Kensington), making a return in the Amlay Motorsport 407 CCMCC S3 Toyota Avante 1.6 the commentators will have their work cut out to distinguish between the Amlay entries. Riyaan Amlay (Grassy Park) and Yaseen Amlay (Retreat) two of the strong contenders in their Ramlay Builders 433 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6 and newcomers Seraaj Amlay (Lotus River) and Amjad Claasen (Lansdowne) will be making their debut in the 457 CCMCC S3 VW Golf MkIII GTi 2.0 8v formerly campaigned by Ebrahim Mia. Ebrahim Mia (Grassy Park) and Clint Lingeveldt (Lansdowne) present in their 420 CCMCC S3 Toyota Conquest 1.6i.

Warren Scholtz (Brackenfell) and Justin Gay (Brackenfell) have the potential to surprise at the Tarmac Rally in their 444 CPMCC S4 VW Polo 2.0 16v with the Madev 423 WBMK S4 Datsun GX Sedan 2.0 of Herman Mathee (Bellville) and Ruan Reynders (Parow) also hungry for a good result. Shaun Jones (Brackenfell) and Jason Thorpe will simply be entertaining to watch, irrespective of weather conditions. Their Advanced Asphalting 424 CPMCC S4 BMW E36 328i disguised as a John Deere tractor, but at Killarney the bright green car should be very visible from any vantage point. On a more serious side it is expected that 17 year old Owen Jones (son of Shaun) will be one of the future stars of the sport and he will be driving the ex-Llewellyn Jones CEJ Plant Hire 454 CPMCC S3 VW Polo 2.0 8v on his tarmac debut.

Defending class S3 champions, Andy Haigh-Smith (Malmesbury) and Tania Vermaak (Strand), have not had the greatest of seasons and the AHS Racing 432 CPMCC and WBMK S3 Mitsubishi Lancer GT1600 will most certainly be looking for a solid, consistent, outing. Antoney Connelly (Kuilsrivier) and Justin Gay another combination seeking consistent results in their Connelly Engineering 429 CCMCC S4 VW Polo 2.0 16v.

Faizel Davids (Ottery) and Lloyd Brady (Ottery) are back in their refreshed 422 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6 whilst the father and son combination of Theodore (Ottery) and Tyler Croy (Ottery) will be making their debut in the ex-Ebrahim Levy 447 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6.  Do not be surprised should Kesevan Naidoo (Kuilsrivier) return to action in his 410 CCMCC Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6i as the car of Cobus Edas (Malmesbury) will not be ready for action.

Stellenbosch husband and wife, Marius and Angelique Swart, are fast becoming regular finishers in their bright orange 438 CPMCC S3 VW Golf MkI 2.0 8v whilst Derick Clift (Paarl) and Marius Rudolph (Bothasig) have quickly gelled as a new combination in the ECW Engineering 418 CPMCC S4 Toyota Hilux 2.0 LDV. Another husband and wife combination, Gareth and Gillian Vernon (Pinelands), will return in their 459 CPMCC S2 VW Golf MkI 1.4i whilst Kevin Calvert (Pinelands) and Brian Hoskins (Tableview) will be hunting a good result in their 436 WPMC S2 VW Golf MkI 1.6i.

Johann and Petra Zulch (Ceres) will also be returning in their Ceres Toyota supported 439 WBMK S2 Ford Escort Sport 1600 whilst Mustapha Mia is still hopeful that critical  parts for his 456 CCMCC S3 Toyota Conquest 1.6 will be arriving before the Entry function on Tuesday 9 July 2019 at the WPMC Boma Killarney International Raceway.

With all seven special stages taking place on the Killarney International Raceway premises the event allows the inclusion of cars from regular regional racing categories to come and test their hand at rallying. Posing a unique Rally vs Track Challenge which in recent times have been dominated by the father and son combination of Dirk and Dirk Kruger in their G&A Promotions Clubmans Toyota Corolla 1.8.

No less than six E36 BMW Rally X entries are anticipated and these teams should be quite entertaining as they are intended to be driven sideways. Zack Groenewald will need little introduction in his No 36 entry. Grant Webster will be present in the No 78 entry and by Saturday they may be joined by another 4 to 6 cars.

Jaco Lambert and George Schutte will be present in one of the Media VW Golf MkI 1.4i cars and could potentially be very effective on the day.

Currently the weather looks great for Saturday 13 July 2019 with midday temperature of 19°C in sunshine and a light 1m/s North Westerly. Perfect conditions for both competitors and spectators.

Thus 24 rally cars and at least ten track racers could see this event attracting the biggest entry of the 2019 season. For spectators that is brilliant news as this event can be enjoyed from a single vantage point at Killarney and with multiple cars running in each stage the action will certainly follow.