Who will it be?

Fantastic to note the water levels in the Western Cape reaching the 75% full mark and the world around us turning green, not to mention the splendour of the flowers and the snow capped mountains. The Swartland is a wonderful area to visit and the seventh, and final, round of the 2018 Western Cape Rally Championship offers you the opportunity to enjoy it’s Spring colours on Saturday 6 October 2018.

Starting at Hyundai Malmesbury (22 Bokomo Road) at 10h00 crews will enjoy some great rallying before reaching Die Bruid Die Pixie En Die Vaalhond just outside Riebeek Kasteel for the final Parc Fermé. In 2017 it was Oswaldo Mendes and Derek Jacobs that celebrated victory in the Sky-Way 129 WBMK / CCMCC S5 Subaru Impreza WRX STi 2.0 Turbo 4x4. A well deserved first Western Cape overall victory for the popular Swakopmund, Namibia, driver.

2018 has not been kind to Oswaldo and with Kesevan Naidoo reading his own notes the combination will be keen to repeat the success as the Riebeek Valley stages seem to favour the powerful 4x4 machines. The more than welcome rain in recent weeks will add to their joy as the additional traction thrives on wet gravel and the additional drag created by the wet surface enjoys the extra power.

With the Tara International Rally celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary in the colours of Total Namibia on 8-10 November 2018 a win in Riebeek Kasteel would certainly see them start the Tara in confident mood. If ever anyone wanted to experience the Tara, this would be a good year to do so! It is quite simply a classic endurance event and in 2018 it follows it’s original route from Walvis Bay / Swakopmund to Windhoek.

Going into the final round father and son, John and Weston Peiser, will essentially be starting with a win in reserve, as they enjoyed a faultless outing on the WPMC All Tar Rally at the Killarney International Raceway in August, and is guaranteed an additional 25 overall points. Having retired from the REACT Night Rally Malmesbury CPMCC in April they have already dropped their worst score for the season whilst their main opposition require 17 points minimum (4th Overall or better) and for the Peiser combination to retire from the final event to prevent them from becoming the 2018 Western Cape Rally Champions.   

John Peiser and Brian Hoskins won the 2008 Western Province Rally Championship, then John Peiser and Craig Gray won the 2011 Western Cape Championship before John Peiser and Weston Peiser added the 2014 Western Cape Rally Championship. Quite impressive given the fact that this specific Speed Pro Cycling Components 425 WPMC S5 Subaru Impreza GT 4x4 Turbo 2.0 was in fact the very first of it’s kind to be rallied in the 2004 South African Rally Championship by Nicholas Ryan. With respect to the S5 Western Cape Class Championship they cannot be beaten, irrespective of the result in Riebeek Kasteel.

Llewellyn Jones and Christophé Pichon have undoubtedly proven themselves as the surprise package of the season, winning on debut in the REACT Night Rally Malmesbury CPMCC, they also claimed top honours on the Ceres Toyota Rally in May before adding a home win on the CEJ Plant Hire Malmesbury Rally in September. Though not in contention for the overall championship in 2018 they would not object to finishing their season with a fourth victory in the CEJ Plant Hire 434 CPMCC S5 Subaru Impreza WRX STi 2.0 4x4.

If the Peiser Scoobie fails to reach the finish at Die Bruid Die Pixie En Die Vaalhond Riebeek Kasteel, Ismaeel Davids and Yusuf Ganief have to finish fourth overall or better to claim their first Western Cape Rally Championship. Victory will see their total score unofficially rise to 136 points, but having then scored points in each of the seven rounds of the championship they will have to drop their worst score of 16 points to complete their season on, unofficially, 120 points. Having already dropped a score John and Weston Peiser will start the event on, unofficially, 115 points, requiring only a 16th position overall finish to, unofficially, tie on points. A tie that will be resolved in their favour. Time will tell! Thus, Peiser must finish 16th or better whilst Davids cannot afford to settle for less than overall victory.

Add another unknown to the equation with the presence of Eastern Cape challenger, Riekus Schmidt, with Matt Köhler as navigator in the rapid 554 AMS S5 VW Polo 2.0 as well as the ex-Hannes Grobler Howard Centre Motors 428 CCMCC S5 Nissan Sentra 4x4 2.0 of Winston Neethling and Lyle Marais and the category becomes really interesting. Unfortunately the ex-Hannes Grobler Nissan Skyline 3.1 have changed hands again and will hopefully see more action in the hands of Martin van Zummeren.

John and Derick Clift will experience a nostalgic outing in Riebeek Kasteel as this will be the final Western Cape Rally for John Clift. Pappa Smurf is calling an end to his active participation when he reaches the final Parc Fermé of the Total 50th Tara Rally Namibia on 10 November 2018. Five years ago John and Derick was seconded as the 0 Car crew on the Total 45th Tara Rally Namibia and the ACW Engineering 418 WBMK S4 Toyota Hilux 2.0 was converted from delivery vehicle to legend. It would simply be appropriate for this combination to compete and complete the Total 50th  Tara Namibia. The good news is that Derick Clift will continue with the Hiilux in 2019.

For sheer pace Keenan Sassman and Randall Marais, Howard Centre Motors 413 CCMCC S4 Toyota Corolla RSi 1.8, will be the combination to catch with Ebrahim Amlay and Ameen Snell very impressive in their family supported 420 CCMCC S4 Toyota Conquest 1.8i. Anthony Connelly and Shan Nefdt have also found new pace in their 429 CCMCC S4 VW Polo 2.0 whilst Paul Emmanuel and Michelle Taylor would really enjoy a positive season finish in their similar 449 CCMCC / CPMCC S4 VW Polo 2.0. Paul Emmanuel won the opening round in Klipdale, John Clift claimed the REACT Night Rally Malmesbury and Anthony Connelly claimed the Darling class S4 win. Ebrahim Mia the real surprise with two class wins, the Ceres Toyota in May and the WPMC All Tar in August.

Class S3 remains the lion’s den with no less than 13 teams in the mix. Andy Haigh-Smith and Tania Vermaak proving to be most consistent in the AHS Racing 432 CPMCC / WBMK S3 Mitsubishi Lancer GT1600. Scoring in every round says much about their very rewarding season, but it does mean that they would have to drop their worst result or finish better than fourth in the class to improve on their current, unofficial, tally of 29 points. Their class win on the recent CEJ Plant Hire Malmesbury Rally really well deserved.

Darren van Greunen and Quinton Swarts have set the S3 scene alight with two class wins, Ceres and Darling, in their Vyeboom Dairy 415 WBMK / CPMCC S3 Toyota Run X RSi 1.6i and with Riebeek Valley will see this combination come out guns ablaze. Ettiene du Toit, defending 2017 Western Cape Rallly Drivers Champion,  won the class on the opening event in Klipdale with Craig Gray navigating and then added the WPMC All Tar to his otherwise rather disappointing season where the Team 467 WBMK S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6i failed to reach the finish on two occasions. Work commitments also saw Ettiene miss the Ceres Toyota Rally, but amazingly he is still the only driver capable of spoiling the day for Andy Haigh-Smith as his, unofficial, 25 points could become 34 with Andy requiring an, unofficial, third in class to claim the class championship.

Ismaeel Davids and Yusuf Ganief effectively eliminated themselves from the S3 and S5 class battles when they started to swop cars and could technically still be caught by Julian Calvert and Marius Rudolph in the 409 CCMCC / WBMK S3 VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 8v. Riyaan Amlay and Yaseen Amlay could become the spoilers in this category as they have proven quick on occasion with the Ramlay Builders 433 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6i. Clint and Lloyd Lingeveldt also have a good mount in their 435 CCMCC S3 Toyota Conquest RSi 1.6i and are capable of mixing it at the front of this category.

Marius and Angelique Swart might not have enjoyed a perfect debut on the CEJ Plant Hire Rally but they certainly enjoyed every second of the experience and will be aiming for their first finish in the neat ex-gymkhana 438 WBMK S3 VW Golf MkI 2.0 8v. Erin Joshua and Terry Croy have got that first finish bagged and they are looking forward to stepping up the ladder in their neat 462 CCMCC S3 Toyota Conquest RSi 1.6i. Expect to see Cobus Edas rather nervous as his siblings, Ra’is and Reynanah Edas, set off on their rallying debut in the ex-Chris de Wit 464 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6i.

Tariq Khatib and Faiz Idas have certainly become the leaders of the S2 pack in their very well prepared 412 CCMCC S2 VW Golf MkI 1.6 and was most unfortunate to iss out on a class win during the WPMC All Tar Rally Killarney. They simply need to finish the event to claim the class championship on 6 October 2018 as one point in the class will secure it. Johann and Petra Zulch have proven that they are getting the Ceres Toyota backed 439 WBMK S2 Ford Escort 1600 Sport sorted when they took the class win at Killarney and set impressive times before retiring on the CEJ Plant Hire Malmesbury event. Seems like he is getting comfortable with shoes on his feet!

Kevin Calvert and Brian Hoskins have joined forces in the acciDent Guru 436 WPMC S2 VW Golf MkI 1.6 and as the only representative of this, normally, four car team they certainly will be looking for a good season finale.

Twenty three teams were entered for Riebeek Valley at the time of writing and the scene is set for a thrilling final round of the 2018 Western Cape Rally Championship on Saturday 6 October 2018.