Unofficially Llewellyn and Christophé take two in Scoobie

Round 3 of the 2018 Western Province Rally Championship saw fifteen crews contest ten challenging stages in near perfect weather conditions in the Koue Bokkeveld on Saturday 12 May 2018. The entry list pretty much guaranteed a Subaru victory and class S3 would go to anyone of six Toyota entries, but the event proved to be quite dramatic from SS1.

Running second on the road Oswaldo Mendes (Swakopmund) and Kesevan Naidoo (Kuilsrivier) entertained the large crowd of spectators in attendance with a spectacular effort to place their Sky-Way Racing 129 WBMK / CCMCC S5 Subaru Impreza WRX STi 2.0 Turbo 4x4 into orbit just 650m into the 5.29km Northridge SS1. The spectators were still contemplating whether the Scoobie had indeed bettered the effort by Paul van Wyk in the acciDent Guru 419 WBMK S3 VW Golf MkI 2.0 when the stage had to be interrupted to attend to an injured Kesevan Naidoo.

Ironically the man responsible for the Safety Notes in the Western Cape Rally Championship had instructed his very willing and able driver to attack the popular spectator “yump” as he saw fit and Oswaldo obliged by not lifting his foot. The good news was that Kes was back at the Kaleo Guest Farm for the closing of the event but unfortunately for Oswaldo the long trip from Swakopmund did not produce the result expected.

The balance of the competitors clocked in at the TC and action resumed after some 40min of “dead time” and it was game on between the road sweeping John and Weston Peiser (Plattekloof) Speed Pro Cycling Equipment 425 WPMC S5 Subaru Impreza GT 4x4 Turbo 2.0 and the new chargers Llewellyn Jones (Somerset West) and Christophe Pichon (Welgemoed) in their CEJ Plant Hire 434 CPMCC S5 Subaru Impreza WRX STi 4x4 Turbo 2.0. Seven stage wins later it was the S5 newcomers who finished 50 seconds clear of the veteran combination.

Though there is no doubt about the results on stage a number of “regulatory issues” have led to the current provisional result being put on ice for seven days in order to come to an amicable conclusion.

Darren van Greunen (Bellville) and Quinton Swarts (Langebaan) lived up to their recent form in the Vygekraal Milk 415 WBMK S3 Toyota Run X 1.6 by slotting into third overall. They even shared the second fastest stage 4 time  with the Peiser Scoobie over 6.13km of Die Erf. Ismaeel Davids (Rondebosch) and Yusuf Ganief (Surrey Estate) another combination finding pace and consistency in fourth spot with their ID Paving 431 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6. Their efforts almost coming unstuck when their service vehicle was damaged near Rocklands.

Ebrahim Mia and Ameen Snell entered late as they had decided to give Ceres a miss due to a lack of budget, but the members of their team collected the required budget to enable this popular combination to make the start and as reward for this sporting gesture they brought the neat 420 CCMCC S4 Toyota Conquest 1.8 home in fifth overall position. Mustapha Mia and Yaseen Amlay found themselves strapped into the Ramlay Builders 456 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi of Riyaan Amlay (Grassy Park) and sixth overall certainly led to some celebration in the Mia / Amlay families.

Andy Haigh-Smith (Malmesbury) and Tania Vermaak (Strand) found themselves rather outgunned by the Toyota onslaught but another consistent drive saw the AHS Racing 432 CPMCC / WBMK S3 Mitsubishi Lancer GT1600 home in seventh overall. Enjoying a rally long duel with the eighth placed ACW Engineering 418 WBMK S4 Toyota Hilux 2.0 of John Clift (Struisbaai) and Derick Clift (Paarl).

Paul Emmanuel and Michelle Taylor had a tough day in the 449 CCMCC / CPMCC S4 VW Polo 2.0 and reached the Kaleo Guest Farm Parc Fermé with just four minutes lateness remaining. Their “vasbyt” resulted in ninth overall. Julian Calvert (Goodwood) and Marius Rudolph (Bothasig) and the ever consistent Lulu, alias the 409 CCMCC / WBMK S3 VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 8v completed the top ten with rally debutants, Erin Joshua and Dylan Timmes the final classified finishers in 11th spot with their ex-André George 462 CCMCC S3 Toyota Conquest 1.6. They experienced pre event nerves, lost time with typical first event gremlins but persevered to finish that all important first event!

Faizel Davids and Terry Croy retired on SS1 with fuel pump problems, returned under Super Rally rules and then succumbed to a bearing knock in the engine of their Extreme Builders 422 CCMCC S3  Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6 after SS8.

Most disappointed of the day had to be Keenan Sassman and Clint Lingeveldt in the Howard Centre 413 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6 as they were locked in battle with Van Greunen / Swarts when the left rear wheel parted company with the Corolla on the 14.78km SS7 Langrivier. Another to withdraw on this stage was the spectacular ex-Hannes Grobler Howard Centre Motors 428 CCMCC S4 Nissan Skyline 3.1 of Winston Neethling and Lyle Marais. Though clearly treating the powerful rwd car with respect they certainly entertained and gained many fans enroute.

Having presented a very challenging and entertaining event despite the restrictions that followed in the wake of the serious drought Clerk of the Course, Pierre van der Westhuizen, and his team have to be complimented on a job well done. Unfortunately, the results of this event will remain unofficial for at least seven days.

The good news is that the 2018 Western Cape Rally Championship will now consist of seven rounds and round four is scheduled for Saturday 7 July 2018 and will be centralised in the Darling district. The popular annual WPMC All Tar Rally have also now been confirmed on ¾ August 2018 at the Killarney International Raceway as round five of the series.