08 November 2012 ~ 0 Comments

BP Volkswagen Polo S2000s claim a one-two finish on the Garden Route Rally

2012 Garden Route Rally: Weijs Jnr/Degandt

Finally, good luck has shone on the South African BP Volkswagen rally team. Claiming the top two finishing positions on the Garden Route Rally on 2-4 November, the result marks a siginificant upturn in luck for the Polo S2000-based team, who have endured a disappointing season of mid-table and non-finishes. Hans Weijs Jnr and Björn Degandt rallied home in first place. Enzo Kuun and Guy Hodgson came second.

Weijs Jnr and Degandt claimed three stage wins (out of an available five) on the first day of the event, and carried on their positive streak into Saturday, to finish first on four out of six stages. ‘I wanted the best result I could get after the puncture on Friday,’ says Weijs. ‘We claimed more than three minutes back, the stage times were perfect. We pushed really hard, and we took it to the limit at this event,’ enthused Weijs Jnr.

Kuun and Hodgson pushed hard, too, not that it showed. Gracefully tackling each stage consistently and commandingly, Kuun was especially pleased with his and Hodgson’s event outcome: ‘It has been a difficult year for all of us, and it is nice to bring this result home. The team have been putting in a lot of hard work and this shows that with the depth of talent and skill we have available, we can pull it all together.’

Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries didn’t enjoy such good luck, but the pair started well. They were in the top five on four of the first six stages, but were eliminated from the event on stage seven and could not complete their rally. Meanwhile, the Polo S2000 of Japie van Niekerk and Gerhard Snyman produced a good sixth place, besting some tough rally conditions that saw many of the competitors suffer problems.

Van Niekerk and Snyman finished just ahead of the BP Volkswagen Polo Vivo S2000 of Gugu Zulu and Carl Peskin, who had already claimed 2012’s S2000 Challenge title, but won the same category on the Garden Route Rally, as well as grabbing a seventh place overall finish, bringing their car home more than three minutes ahead of their nearest class rivals. Further down the field, the BP Volkswagen Polo Vivo S1600 of Megan Verlaque and Hilton Auffray snatched fifth place in the S1600 car class.

The 11-stage Garden Route event saw competitors finish the 2012 season in the picturesque Wilderness and Knysna area, and witnessed some stellar rally performances. Drawing the curtain on the 2012 season, it also hints at an exciting and demanding 2013. The final results mark not only the BP Volkswagen team’s strengths in bringing the new BP Volkswagen Polo S2000 up to pace to compete successfully on a national championship level, but also holds the promise for what the coming season holds.

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