It was an exciting end to an, at times, difficult season for Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa, as Han Weijs Jnr and Björn Degandt took victory in their Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo S2000 at the Bela-Bela Motor Rally on 22 November. The Bela-Bela was the final round in the 2014 South African National Rally Championship.
The result places the duo second overall in the 2014 championship standings. The Bela-Bela Rally is the fifth occasion during the eight-round 2014 national championship that Weijs and Degandt have finished on the podium. The season finale is their best result this year.
‘I like technical stages and we were involved in a good fight at this event,’ said Weijs. ‘This was a good rally for us. We pushed hard but it was very important to finish here in Bela-Bela, in order to claim second overall in the championship. We had to pace ourselves very carefully and keep the overall goal in mind.’
Weijs and Degant’s team-mates Henk Lategan and Barry White brought their Polo home fourth, while Gugu Zulu and Carl Peskin rounded out the top five finishers. Zulu and Peskin are fifth in the championship standings while Lategan and White are one place below.
Lategan and White had to deal with a number of difficulties but managed to eventually overcome them. ‘We had some technical niggles throughout this event,’ Lategan commented. ‘ But despite the problems, the results for the team are a morale booster and we produced a good result, a strong end to the season and one we can be happy with.’
‘Carl and I did post good stage results, within seconds of the other teams, but overall our time deficit cost us what could have been an even better result. A strong finish at this event – and for the season – means we start 2015 on a positive note and ready for the challenge.’
Mike Rowe, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa praised his squad: ‘This is a fitting end to the season for the Volkswagen Sasolracing team. It has been a fight for the Polos out on the stages at this event, trading stage times with our competitors, at our most competitive level.
‘We will be looking to starting the 2015 season on the same note. We have overcome a number of challenges this year,’ Rowe continued. ‘There is much work still to do, but we will be coming out strong for our 2015 campaign with the results achieved now forming a strong foundation for next season.’