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RA5 Regional Rally Championship 2012 - Winning Driver: Ross Bartle

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The regional RA5 driver championship for 2012 was won by Ross Bartle driving a 1400cc VW Citi Golf Motor Sport built regional rally car. Navigator Ric Janse Van Rensburg was not available to compete in all of the events and first place in the regional championship navigator was Andries Beyers in a similar RA5 VW Golf driven by Jouwert Van Der Walt.

This is the second time that Ross Bartle has won the regional championship and had a particularly good year in 2012 by winning the National Toyota Dealer Cape Rally and Garden Route National rally invitation S20 Class competing for the first time in these national events on unfamiliar turf.bartle

Ross started his rally career in 2009 after winning the regional Super Rok Karting Championship in 2008 and was offered a drive in a Volkswagen Motor Sport / Agoa Rally Association initiative that consisted of junior development RA5 Citi Golf,s prepared for local rallies.

In 2009 the first year of rally competition Ross lead the championship from the second half of the year once he got accustomed to rally driving under the watchful eye of his father as the navigator. In the last round of the regional championship for 2009 due to a mechanical failure that cost 40 minutes, he lost the championship by one point to Iddo Steyn driving a similar RA5 VW Golf.

As recognition for winning the Regional RA5 championship in 2010 VW Motor Sport Manager announced at the end of the year prize giving that Ross and 17 year old Staci Allen (navigator) would drive a new development Polo 1400cc in the 2011 National Volkswagen Rally in Port Elizabeth. The vehicle was unfortunately not ready in time and a used National specification A5 1400cc rally car was offered. After falling out of the rally in the second stage due to electrical problems Ross and Staci re-entered for the experience and in their quest to catch up to the field lost control in the Culturama Forest stage rolling out of contention.

By accepting the VW sponsored rally car for the one off drive in the VW National meant sacrificing the regional rally championship for 2011, the outcome was winner Devon Alchin and Mark Irvine in a similar Citi Golf regional car followed by Ross trailing by one point. What has been a remarkable achievement is that Ross has competed in 27 events over the 4 years that include 6 National events and only suffered one non-finish due to an electrical failure in conditions of territorial rain, tar and rough gravel stages.

Ross Bartle commented during an interview at the Regional MSA Motor Sport prize giving that he was extremely grateful for the opportunity that Volkswagen Motor Sport and Algoa Rally Association particularly the chairman Mark Irvine for giving him the opportunity to excel as a rally driver competing in the VW junior rally team.

2013 will be a new challenge with Ross Bartle and Ric Janse Van Rensburg driving a VW Polo 2 Lt currently being built that will give the youngsters an opportunity to prove themselves at another level of Regional and National participation.

Comments   

 
# CongratulationsJackie Vosloo 2012-12-19 17:46
Well done Ross and Andries!
 
 
# ImpressiveAdministrator 2012-12-18 22:55
Congrats Ross and Andries on winning the RA5 driver and co-driver championship!!
 

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