After a podium success at the Sasol Rally, Volkswagen Sasolracing was once again on the podium at the 16-16 May Secunda Motor Rally, the third round of the 2015 South African National Rally Championship. Once again, Gugu Zulu was the man responsible for German representation on the third step of the winners’ rostrum. Overall victory went to the Ford duo of Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton.
Second consecutive result
The second consecutive result for the Zulu, he was joined by co-driver Hilton Affray who returned to South African national rallying on the Secunda event. The first day saw Zulu and Auffray in the top five in three of the six stages, the duo appearing in the top four stage times in every one of the six stages. The pair’s best time was the second-fastest result posted in stage nine and by the end of the rally they were third overall.
An ecstatic Zulu commented: ‘The rally started on a strong note, with Hilton and I posting a good time in the first stage. We did lose a bit of time during the day, so started day two on the back foot. The rally was trying in places, but even with a big change getting to know a new navigator, we still got on the pace and posted times I’m very happy with.’
‘An amazing job’
‘Gugu has done an amazing job once again, he was really fast this weekend even with a new navigator – and that usually takes a while,’ said Mike Rowe, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa. ‘Considering he finished effectively just 2.7 seconds behind Giniel de Villiers, excluding the 30 second penalty, it is another very encouraging result from Gugu.’
Fekken and Arries meanwhile built their pace during the first day, to the point where they were they were third-fastest on stage six and fourth overall heading into day two. The fourth Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo S2000 crew, Thilo Himmel and Armand du Toit, finished fifth in their matt black machine.
‘The Volkswagen Sasolracing team proved this weekend to be a very well-oiled machine, the servicing between stages was slick and organised, they certainly rose to the challenge and from a team point of view we are happy with the pace of the car,’ said Rowe. ‘Hergen has adapted very well to the car and just had a bit of bad luck in his first event. I’m confident he would have finished on the podium otherwise.’
The 2015 South African National Rally Championship will see the Volkswagen Sasolracing team head to Bela-Bela for the fourth round of the series, the Toyota Bela Bela/Toyota Tara Rally around Limpopo on 19-20 June.