WC Rally status after Round 3

In a season where consistency will prove critical only four teams have succeeded in finishing all three rounds of the Western Cape Rally Championship to date. Why is this so important? Well, as recent as the 2018 season the championship consisted of seven rallies, which allows each team to drop their worst result from the scoring. This year, every one of the six rounds count and every DNF might represent the difference between a failed or successful campaign.

Ismaeel Davids (Rondebosch) and Yusuf Ganief (Surrey Estate) currently lead the championship in the ID Paving 431 CCMCC S5 Toyota Run X 2.0 4x4. They won the opening round almost uncontested but now have the Llewellyn Jones (Somerset West) and Christophé Pichon (Welgemoed) CEJ Plant Hire 434 CPMCC S5 Subaru Impreza WRX 2.0 4x4 closing in with an average of 4 points per event. Currently there is a 17 point difference and should they finish first and second on each of the remaining three rounds the Scoobie can only score an additional 12 points, which should see the Toyota win by 5 points.

No pressure? Well, the next event is the WPMC Tarmac Rally and it is a given that the S2000 ID Paving 431 CCMCC S5 Toyota Run X 2.0 4x4 will be more vulnerable to drivetrain failure than the production based CEJ Plant Hire 434 CPMCC Subaru Impreza WRX 2.0 4x4 Turbo. Possibly why Team ID Paving may switch to a potent S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6i? Well, it may provide overall success but it will certainly leave them vulnerable in both the class S5 and S3 class championships.

John and Weston Peiser (Panorama) achieved a dominant victory on the 2018 WPMC All Tar Rally in their Speed Pro Cycling Components 425 WPMC S5 Subaru Impreza GT 2.0 4x4 Turbo. Officially this is the very first Subaru ever to be used in South African rallying and runs in almost standard specification. John Peiser a 3x Western Cape Rally Drivers Champion and Weston Peiser a 2x Western Cape Rally Navigators Champion. Currently enjoying a Safari holiday in Botswana their potential entry into this event could prove to be a major head-ache to the championship contenders as they could “steal” points from either of the challengers.

With entire event run on the premises of the Killarney International Raceway statistics will prove that the scenery at this venue is rather unforgiving and the additional traffic when multiple cars find themselves contesting the same spot of asphalt at speed have resulted in some surprising results. Will Lourens van Rensburg (D’Urbanville) have his new Subaru ready and could we possibly see Ashley Haigh-Smith make a rare appearance in his R2 Fiesta?

Also consider the fact that Paul-Hendrik Franken have enjoyed a season of national Falken Polo Cup and regional Burly Pro GTi Challenge racing in addition to developing the very impressive 3 cylinder 1000cc Turbocharged Volkswagen Polo Vivo GT over more than 3500km of special stages and the youngster from Gansbaai suddenly becomes a real threat as he has scored points on all three rounds to date and is just 8 points (59) shy of the Run X. Matt Köhler (Heathfield) navigating on the regional only events have scored on two rounds and finds himself fourth overall on 40 points.

At the moment some doubt as to this entry as the car is being prepped for the next national and may not be available. This will see Paul-Hendrik restricted to his Burly Pro Polo GTi Challenge car?

Another combination that have found reliability to match their impressive pace is Keenan Sassman (Monte Vista) and Randall Marais (Kensington) in the Barno’s 413 CCMCC S4 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.8. A little unfortunate on the Porterville event they are certainly another team to watch at Killarney. Currently on 52 points they find themselves third and second overall on points.

Rupert van Zyl is always a dark horse on the tarmac event in the (Pole Assassin) Die Hollandse Motors 405 CPMCC S4 VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 16v. In 2018 Marius Rudolph (Bothasig) navigated and the combination was a real threat until an unfortunate missed gear on the main straight resulted in 16 bent valves. Better believe it – if the car and driver is in tune with the navigator you would be well advised to keep an eye on their times at the very top of the scoresheet.

Gareth and Gillian Vernon (Pinelands) may have suffered their first DNF in Porterville but incredibly the relative newcomers have once again proven that consistency pays in their 459 CPMCC S2 VW Golf MkI 1.4i. This is in fact an S1 specification car, but due to there not being anyone else in this class they are classified in S2, and currently lead the class on points. Johann and Petra Zulch (Ceres) only contested the opening round in Darling to date and they are 5 points down in their Ceres Toyota supported 439 WBMK S2 Ford Escort Sport 1600. Few would argue that the quickest driver in this class is Tiaan Rabe, but he too has only contested a single round as driver in his Time2Go Travel 404 WBMK S2 VW Golf MkI 1.4i and with Nico Esterhuyse as navigator they find themselves two points down on the Ford. Drivers such as Warren Köhler, Tariq Khatib and Kevin Calvert could still make an impression before the end of 2019.

S3 is the sharp end of Western Cape Rallying with no less than eleven teams present and after three rounds Mustapha Mia (Kensington) and Ameen Snell have proven consistent and quick in the 456 CCMCC S3 Toyota Tazz 1.6, winning the category on two rounds. Cobus Edas (Malmesbury) and Kesevan Naidoo (Kuilsrivier) initially led the points battle but the veteran combination suffered terminal engine problems on SS1 in Porterville and will now have to grow horns in the ex-Chris de Wit Hyundai Malmesbury supported 464 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6i. Riyaan Amlay (Grassy Park) and Yaseen Amlay (Retreat) another combination who spoiled a great season when they drowned the Ramlay’s Builders 433 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6i on SS4 of the Porterville Rally.

Marius and Angelique Swart (Stellenbosch) is slowly but surely coming to terms with their new sport of rallying and the bright orange EPR 4x4 438 CPMCC S3 VW Golf MkI 2.0 8v is certainly getting quicker with each outing. The danger combination in this class is however the returning acciDent Guru 469 WBMK S3 VW Golf MkI 2.0 8v of Paul van Wyk. With Tiaan Rabe navigating they certainly caught attention in Porterville and Paul van Wyk is considered the Hairpin King on asphalt. Beware of the silver Golf.

At just 17 years of age Owen Jones (Durbanville) certainly benefits as member of the very experienced Jones family and with Michelle Taylor (Panorama) navigating the CEJ Plant Hire 454 CPMCC S3 VW Polo 2.0 8v they are quite capable of ruffling a few feathers amongst the experienced bunch. Warren Scholtz and Justin Gay have also shown good speed at Killarney and their 444 CPMCC S3 VW Polo 2.0 8v will be given free reign. Faizel Davids and Lloyd Brady sadly ventilated the engine on their MFD Paving 422 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6i in Porterville, but hopefully they will be back at Killarney.

Erin Joshua (Retreat) and Terry Croy fell foul of the river crossing in Porterville but the ever enthusiastic team realised that that was only their sixth ever rally and that any experience gained was worth having and the 462 CCMCC S3 Toyota Tazz 1.6i will undoubtedly be back for more mileage. Julian Calvert (Goodwood) unfortunately failed to reach Porterville when the engine rebuild ran out of time. A new navigator set to join Julian in the 409 CCMCC S3 VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 at Killarney.

The defending S3 champions, Andy Haigh-Smith (Malmesbury) and Tania Vermaak (Strand), have also not enjoyed a great 2019 with the AHS Racing 432 CPMCC – WBMK S3 Mitsubishi Lancer GT 1600 only present in Caledon. At age 71 Andy Haigh-Smith is the oldest active rally driver in South Africa and as the 2018 S3 drivers champion he is certainly still competitive.

Class S4 is showing positive growth in 2019 with Keenan Sassman (Monte Vista) and Randall Marais (Kensington) certainly not able to relax in the Barno’s 413 CCMCC S4 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.8. Derick Clift (Paarl) have taken over as the driver of the ACW Engineering 418 CPMCC S4 Toyota Hilux 2.0 and at age 67 John Clift (Struisbaai) called time on his active career as driver / navigator after the Caledon national. Marius Rudolph (Bothasig) joining the team as navigator and they intend flying the Hilux flag with good results.

Herman Mathee (Bellville) concentrated on MTB racing in 2018 and it is a very lightweight driver returning with Ruan Reynders (Parow) in the popular Madev 423 WBMK S4 Datsun GX Sedan 2.0. Unfortunately they had contact with a errant cattlegrid in Porterville and were forced to retire after SS2. Another very entertaining combination to join Shaun Jones (Durbanville) and Jason Thorpe in the bright green Advanced Asphalting 424 CPMCC S4 BMW E36 328i – and they are really very entertaining in the John Deere camouflaged Beemer.

On the topic of Beemers. The gaggle of E36 BMW drivers currently responsible for the growth in regional Rally X are considering doing the Tarmac Rally – and that should prove pretty entertaining! Should the 2.0 20v engine be ready the presence of the completely rebuilt Sabre Paints 406 CPMCC VW Polo Vivo of Charl Strydom (Durbanville) and Sakkie Bosman will most certainly be worthy of attention. This car is not only beautiful, it is very quick too.

Trevor Hodges (Ottery) and Ian Thebus (Edgemead) another combination that could spring a surprise on asphalt with their Team Extreme 421 CCMCC S4 VW Golf MkIII GTi 2.0 16v. Paul Emmanuel (Constantia) and Robin Benjamin (Heathfield) is getting to drips with their 449 CCMCC S4 VW Polo 2.0 16v as are Anthony Connelly (Kuilsrivier) and Lyle Marais in their Connelly Engineering 429 CCMCC S4 VW Polo 2.0 16v.

The surprise in this class should be the anticipated pace of veteran Mike Nathan (Flamingo Vlei) and Clint Lingeveldt (Lansdowne) in their D&S Motorsport 417 CPMCC – CCMCC S4 Toyota Tazz 1.8.

Winston Neethling (Kensington) have sourced a rather rare engine block for his ex-Hannes Grobler Howard Centre Motors 428 CCMCC S5 Nissan Sentra 2.0 4x4 and he will hopefully be back and hopefully Darren van Greunen (Bellville) and Quinton Swarts (Langebaan) will also be back in the very quick 415 CPMCC S3 Toyota Run X 1.6i. Asheen Amlay is rumoured to be back in a much improved Amlay Motorsport 402 S4 Toyota Run X RSi 1.8i and even the Toyota Avanté is said to be returning for Abduraghman Amlay.

From a spectator perspective one cannot ask for more as the entire event is at the Killarney International Raceway.

Do not miss it!