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Algoa Rally Club R50K Challenge 2014

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The Algoa Rally Club 50k challenge kicked off on the 22 February 2014 with the Algoa Steel rally which started with documentation at the Hunters Retreat Hotel and the first car entered the tar stage at Parsons Green at 10h00 with the field of competitors an impressive 23 Vehicles.

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Hein Lategan and Pierre Arries, driving a Volkswagen Sasol S 2000, put on a show for the spectators painting the tar with black rubber as the 4 wheel drive drifted around the narrow street roads and they were followed by a contingent of Thilo Himmel and Armand Du Toit S 2000, Marco Himmel/Francois Schombee and Paul Franken/Henry Kohne driving VW Polo S1600.

Volkswagen Sasol Motor Sport, based in the Uitenhage factory, decided to use this event for a practise run before the National Rally Championship starts and were not competing for the 50k challenge. These young drivers and National Championship hopefuls set a trend for our local competitors to follow.

Our local competitors did not disappoint and even seemed more graceful, and posted respectable stage times, with Ross Bartle and navigator Rick Janse Van Rensburg, driving a S3 borrowed Polo Vivo after their vehicle was destroyed in a blaze at the Fountains Mall Rally in 2013, took the early lead after stage 1 + 2 tar only.

The gravel stages of PE Oval Circuit and Jag Vlakte favoured the pair of Ettiene and Mauritze Malherbe, driving a Datsun SSS S3; the vehicle may be from the past, however with rear wheel drive and a master of the oval circuit and seasoned National S20 campaigner behind the wheel, took over the lead to the finish, carrying a penalty but finishing one minute in front of the VW Polo of Bartle and Janse van Rensburg.

The gravel stages of PE Oval claimed a few casualties when, after repeated stages, rocks surfaced and many competitors suffered punctures including a rollover for Megan Heine and Ryan Clark, the chopper pilots driving a Citi Golf RA5 S1 who were able to continue to the finish.

 

Article by Neville Bartle

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