25 June 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Disappointing results for BP Volkswagen team in Toyota Dealer Rally Gauteng

2012 Toyota Dealer Rally Gauteng: BP Volkswagen team

Once again it was a grueling two days of motorsport for the BP Volkswagen rally team, as the Polo S2000s tackled the Toyota Dealer Rally Gauteng on 23-24 June. Punctures affected almost every competitor, and both the cars of Enzo Kuun/Guy Hodgson and Hergen Fekken/Pierre Arries were forced to pull over six kilometres into the first stage and change tyres. The soft nature of the stage environment also meant that the swaps themselves were made all the more difficult, and both pairings lost valuable time. Hans Weijs Jnr/Björn Degandt managed to avoid the flat tyre, but were held up by thick dust which followed in the wake of the slower competitors. It cost the duo dearly – two minutes were lost, time they only managed to claw back in stage three.

The pair were to suffer another bout of bad luck, though, when in stage nine, a puncture finally caught up with them, leaving them no choice but to enther the final stage with an insurmountable time deficit. It wasn’t all bad news, though, as they finished the event in a respectable fifth place. Kuun/Hodgson suffered two further punctures on the penultimate stage, leaving them with no tyres on which to complete the open section on the final stage, forcing a reluctant retirement. Fekken/Arries finished 14th overall, after deciding to compete in the Super Rally on the Saturday, rising from a 26th place starting position.

‘It has been a disappointing weekend after weeks of hard work by the entire BP Volkswagen rally team,’ said head of Volkswagen Motorsport, Mike Rowe. ‘Factors completely out of the team’s control, including roads that were unfit for rally cars, made the weekend what is was, but we used the opportunity to make massive strides with the new BP Volkswagen Polo S2000. That is a significant reward, even if it does not reflect in the standings after this event. We remain optimistic and confident that the BP Volkswagen Polo S2000 will deliver on the results we all know it is capable of.’

Lower down the orders, Gugu Zulu/Carl Peskin finished 8th overall in their Polo Vivo S2000, taking a S2000 Challenge victory in the process, thanks to a finishing time more than 20 minutes ahead of their class rivals. Megan Verlaque/Hilton Auffray posted the fastest time in the S1600 class, to lead their rivals by 28 seconds. Sadly, they had to retire close to the end of the second stage. The BP Volkswagen rally team is now focusing its attention on its home event, the Volkswagen Rally, taking place on the Eastern Cape on 13-14 July.

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