27 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Manitou Group SA rally team victorious at Volkswagen Rally

Henry Kohne, co-driver of the Manitou Group SA rally team Polo S1600 recalls how the team took the S1600 top spot at the 2015 Volkswagen Rally on the Eastern Cape, the fifth round of the 2015 South African National Rally Championship

2015 Volkswagen Rally: Manitou Group SA Volkswagen Polo S1600

Heavy rains
The 2015 Volkswagen Rally took place in Port Elizabeth on the weekend of 17-19 July and the Manitou Group SA Rally team won the S1600 class ahead of Matthew Vacy-Lyle and Schalk van Heerden’s Toyota Etios R2 in very tricky conditions.

The event consisted of twelve gravel stages running over two days – the second day provided extreme weather conditions with heavy rain fall. Two of the twelve stages were cancelled due to the heavy rains but the teams had to battle it out in the remainder of the stages.

The conditions made it especially challenging for the S1600 teams, being only front-wheel drive and difficult to handle in the wet conditions. Many of the teams were caught out and forced to retire, but the Manitou Group SA rally team managed to steer clear of trouble and finish on the top spot of the podium.

‘According to plan’
‘We were hoping for a good event as it is almost like a home event to us with Volkswagen being based in Uitenhage. We had a good test before the event and were confident with the car and in the team that we could finish well, providing that we didn’t have any issues on the event,’ said driver Paul Franken.

‘Our car was great and everything just went according to plan. This was a special win for the Manitou Group team as it also puts our championship back on track,’ Franken added.

The Manitou Group SA rally team is supported by Manitou Group, Supa Quick Birchleigh, Volkswagen Motorsport and SASOL Racing. Round six of the 2015 South African National Rally Championship is the Cullinan Rally in Gauteng on 14-15 August.

[Image: RunRideDive.com]

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