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Rally “gees” the real winner in Jeffreys Bay!


Etienne and Mauritz Malherbe in their Datsun 160u SSS emerged victorious after a very tightly contested 5th Round of the Algoa Rally Club’s R50kChallenge at the Fountains Mall in Jeffreys Bay on Saturday.

In a very sporting gesture Etienne, a long time rally competitor with a true passion for the sport, donated his Gabriel’s Jewellers sponsored 1st place prize worth R5000 to Iddo Steyn who finished in second place just 2 seconds behind the Datsun with his navigator Mark Irvine in their MK1 Escort.

Etienne Mauritz Malherbe R50kChallenge championship contenders Rikus Schmidt and Stephno Pieterse were third in their VW Golf and Jacques Louw and Gabriel Groener were the first rookies home in class S1 in a VW Golf.

Despite the gale force winds the rally started with a big crowd at the Fountains Mall in Jeffreys Bay. All the school children taking part in the SupaQuick trolley race, organised in conjunction with the rally, also lined the Mall parking area to see the cars in Stage 1.

The drama started in stage 2, the M2Rallysport stage, with the VW Polo Vivo of Ross Bartle and Rick Janse van Rensburg catching fire in stage. They were forced to stop immediately and were unable to extinguish the fire before the Polo had been completely destroyed. In the true “gees” and comradery that exist in the Algoa Rally Club at the moment, Bryan Heine from Heinesport and Grayham Bishop from GMP Motorsport announced at the prize-giving function, held at the Ocean Basket, that they will be donating a new Polo shell to the Bartle’s in an effort to help them stay in rally after the huge financial set-back. Motorsport, even at the more affordable club level, can become rather expensive and therefore competitors as well as the club as an entity hugely appreciate any contribution in the form of sponsorship. To all our current partners a BIG thank you!

In yet another extraordinary display of selflessness Denzou Ferreira and co-driver Paul van Heerden excluded themselves from a good result in the rally as they stopped and helped to extinguish a veld fire that started as a result of the Polo catching fire using their own fire extinguishers and whatever they could find next to the road in Stage 2.

Jan Vosloo and navigator Ria Viljoen in the Nissan Sentra was also forced to retire in stage 2 as their bonnet latch came loose in the mountain pass causing the bonnet to flip open violently, smashing the windscreen and momentarily blinding them.

The awesome DKP Motor Spares sponsored Stage 3 also claimed a victim in the form of Rufus Neethling and Henry Adams that went fishing in the canal with the front runners using this long and fast stage to cement their positions.

The deck at Spekboomlapa was an excellent vantage point for some good spectating in Stage 4 before competitors returned to Jeffreys for another run at the Fountains Mall tar stage and some lunch, service and shopping.

The afternoon loop of the same stages delivered a lot less drama and more spectacular rallying from the front runners in a final bid for overall honours and those sought after Gabriel’s Jewellers sponsored Tissot watches worth R5000 each.

Congratulations not only to Etienne and Mauritz, Fountains Mall Rally 2013 winners, but to all the Algoa Rally Club members, organisers, sponsors, marshals, officials, crew, family, spectators and anybody else involved in making the events so special. We are all very proud to be associated with the Algoa Rally Club and to experience the true motorsport “gees”

See you all at the next rally and the final round of the R50kChallenge 2013, WATCH THIS SPACE!

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