18 September 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Podium finish for BP Volkswagen rally team at Toyota Cape Dealer Rally

2012 Toyota Cape Dealer Rally: Kuun/Hodgson

It’s been a long time coming, but the South African BP Volkswagen rally team finally scored a podium place at the Toyota Cape Dealer Rally on 16 September. Luck was with Enzo Kuun and Guy Hodgson when they crossed the line at Caledon. The Polo S2000 pairing won stage six two days earlier, but a consistent performance never saw them leave the top five positions, and they focused on productin their best result of the season. ‘The pace was quick and we drove hard, but for us it was more about keeping our podium position than challenging for an overall victory,’ said Kuun.

Kuun and Hodgson’s run wasn’t without drama and incident. A collision with a stray sheep damaged the steering of the Polo, and they had to complete a further two stages before the components could be repaired. ‘We really thought it was all over at that point,’ said Kuun. But, the service crew effected the necessary repairs to the duo’s Polo S2000 rally car, allowing them to get back into the thick of the action, and post fast stage times.

‘This is a good result for our new BP Volkswagen Polo S2000,’ says Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport. ‘Work on this new-generation rally car has been ongoing and our result this weekend shows that the effort is starting to pay dividends.’

Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries had a tough event, with Fekken fighting off a dose of flu. A damaging incident on stage one saw them lose 20 seconds, but they finished the event in sixth place overall. ‘We had the problem on the first stage, lost time again with a puncture and I was feeling really ill on Friday,’ said Fekken. ‘I felt much better on Saturday and we just made up as much time as we could.’

Team mates Hans Weijs Jnr and Björn Degandt claimed fourth in stage one and third in stages two and three before they experienced mechanical trouble in stage four which sadly eliminated them from the event. They re-entered for Saturday under Super Rally rules and consistently claimed third-place stage times throughout most of the day.

Polo Vivo S2000 pilots Gugu Zulu and Carl Peskin continued their successful season with an S2000 Challenge class victory, cementing their championship lead in the process. The S1600 class was a tough one for Megan Verlaque and Hilton Auffray in their BP Volkswagen Polo Vivo S1600. ‘On stage three I made a mistake which caused some damage so we had to change strategy and concentrate on making the finish line,’ said Verlaque.

Further down the field, Henk Lategan and Barry White finished behind Zulu and Peskin, taking second place in the S2000 Challenge category. The BP Volkswagen rally team will be in action once more at the Polokwane Rally from 5-7 October 2012.

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