27 April 2012 ~ 0 Comments

First podium of the 2012 season for South African BP Volkswagen rally team

2012 Sasol Rally: Kuun/Hodgson

The second round of the South African National Rally Championship took place last weekend (21-22 April) in Mpumalanga, and after two days of hard competition, the BP Volkswagen rally team took its first podium of the season. The Sasol Rally saw Hans Weijs Jnr and Bjorn Degandt take their new Polo S2000 to third place – on their second ever event in South Africa. ‘We were pushing at maximum on Friday,’ said Weijs. ‘We did lose a bit of time with one or two issues, but that was fixed and and we got a good result. The team did excellent work on the car and we pushed very hard for our first podium.’

Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries claimed seventh in the S2000 class, a reward for surviving a tough weekend. The pair were robbed several minutes with two punctures, and despite claiming a number of second and third place stage finishes during the two days of competition, there wasn’t enough distance for them to close the gap. Teammates Enzo Kuun and Guy Hodgson fought their way into 11th place by the second last stage of the event, also having lost time due to punctures. The pair were unable to make the start line of the final stage of the rally and were sadly unable to complete the event.

The S2000 Challenge, a new category in the championship for the 2012 season, saw Gugu Zulu and Carl Peskin claim the class victory in their BP Volkswagen Polo Vivo S2000 – finishing sixth overall, just four minutes and 32 seconds behind the overall event leaders. Zulu and Peskin were ninth at the end of stage one, climbing to seventh by the end of the first day and moving into sixth just three stages from the finish. The pair produced a consistently strong performance throughout the event to finish 20 seconds ahead of their nearest class rivals. Meanwhile, BP Volkswagen Polo Vivo S1600 pair Megan Verlaque and Hilton Auffray finished the Sasol Rally in second place in the S1600 class.

‘It has been a very satisfying result after a week of hard work,’ said Mike Rowe, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport. ‘A podium result is very rewarding at this point in the development of the new BP Volkswagen Polo S2000, as is having five Volkswagen cars finish in the top 10. Add an S2000 Challenge victory and three podium places in the S1600 class, and it has been a good rally weekend for Volkswagen Motorsport.’

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