Archive | Manitou Group VW Polo R2 diary

17 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Manitou Group VW Polo R2 diary:
Volkswagen Rally

Manitou Group Volkswagen Polo R2 co-driver Henry Kohne looks back on the challenging and disappointing 2014 Volkswagen Rally

2014 Volkswagen Rally: Franken/Kohne
The Volkswagen Rally which took part on the weekend of 11-12 July 2014 presented the Manitou Group Rally team with yet another character-building weekend. This being the home event for Volkswagen, the team had the VW Polo R2 prepared to perfection and was ready to put in the effort for a good result.
The event started in Uitenhage – the South African home of the Polo and where it is built – and after the first gravel stage the team found themselves right among the top competitors in the S1600 class. Unfortunately soon after, in the following stage, the Manitou Group VW Polo R2 lost third gear, presenting a huge challenge to the team to complete the next three gravel stages without third gear.
Managing to get to the service park at the end of day one, the service crew did a great job in changing the gearbox of the Polo R2 in 45 minutes. Without losing too much time the team was in seventh position at the end of day one with only seconds separating them to fifth position, the challenge was on.
Bad luck continued on day two, getting a puncture on the second gravel stage of the day the team lost even more time. Just as the team thought things couldn’t get any worse, they picked up engine trouble in the next super special stage and were forced to retire from the event.
‘This was truly a frustrating event for the Manitou Group Rally team, we had plain bad luck. The whole team put so much effort into this event. Although it was a disappointment to retire we have once again learned a lot and would be working harder towards the next event,’ added Paulus Franken.
The Manitou Group Rally team can be seen in action again on 15-16 August at the Ford Dealer Rally in the Cullinan, Gauteng area.
Thanks to the support we receive from Manitou Group, Volkswagen Motorsport and SASOL Racing. Follow us at:

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26 May 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Manitou Group VW Polo R2 diary:
PMC Gauteng Rally

In the second of a series of updates, Henry Kohne, co-driver of Paulus Franken, recounts their performance at the South African PMC Gauteng Rally in the Manitou Group Volkswagen Polo R2 rally car

2014 Sasol Rally: Franken/Kohne

The PMC Gauteng Rally took place on 23-24 May 2014 in the Babsfontein area of South Africa. After not having the ideal start to their season, the Manitou Group team was hoping to have a better event in round three of the 2014 South African National Rally Championship.

The team got off to a good start. Having a trouble free run on Friday, they were in fifth position in class at the end of day one. With only 37 seconds separating them to second place, they knew that the battle would be fierce for positions on Saturday.

Paulus Franken commented on the team’s fortune: ‘Ernie van der Walt unfortunately had mechanical issues and we moved up one position after stage five. The rest of the event we were fighting for positions with Ashley-Haigh Smith and Chris Coertse, who both drove great events.’

At the end of the event ,the Manitou Group VW Polo R2 finished third in class and tenth overall. This result gives the team valuable points at this stage of the championship. Hoping that their streak of bad luck is now behind them, they are focusing on the remainder of the season.

The next event will be the Volkswagen Rally, 11-12 July 2014 in the Eastern Cape. Franken can’t wait to get started: ‘We look forward to this event as it is the home event for Volkswagen.’

Thanks to the support the team receive from Manitou Group, Volkswagen Motorsport and SASOL Racing.

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26 March 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Manitou Group VW Polo R2 diary:
Tour Natal 2014

In the first of a series of updates, will be following the fortunes of the Polo R2 rally car run by Manitou Group in the 2014 South African National Rally Championship.
Here, Henry Kohne, co-driver of Paulus Franken, tells the story of the team’s first outing of the season, the Tour Natal 2014

2014 Tour Natal: Manitou Group Volkswagen Polo R2
On the weekend of 14-15 March 2014, the South African (SA) National Rally Championship kicked off in Natal, and unfortunately our season didn’t start as we hoped. After putting in long hours and hard work into both the car and team during the pre-season, we were positive to have a good event in Natal.
We picked up technical issues as early as the first stage of the event, and were forced to retire from day one.
We were able to restart the event on Saturday morning, under Super Rally rules and had a trouble free run on day two, posting consistent top three times in class. Although we did not manage to score an good overall position at the end of the event, we were running a good pace on day two, proving that the work we put in during the off-season was worth it.
We are looking forward to the next event, which is the SASOL Rally on the 11-12 April 2014. The SASOL Rally is usually one of the benchmark events in SA rallying.
We would like to thank our sponsors Manitou Group, Volkswagen Motorsport, and SasolRacing for their support.

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