05 June 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Sasolracing produces strong results at Toyota Gauteng Dealer Rally

2013 Toyota Gauteng Dealer Rally: Lategan/White

The third round of the South African National Rally Championship saw two Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo S2000s finish in the top five places. Enzo Kuun and Douglas Judd claimed third overall, while Henk Lategan and Barry White were the fifth car home. Two days of dusty competition saw the crews drive 10 stages, with Lategan and White the fastest Polo S2000 on day one, holding onto third place overnight. Kuun and Judd were two places below. Day two saw Lategan and White overshoot a stage, costing them valuable time and two places. Kuun and Judd meanwhile remained consistently within the top five stage finishers on the second day to improve their standings and take their first 2013 podium.

‘We started off well and our times were quite good,’ said Lategan. ‘We were perhaps a little too cautious on this event, though, and should have pushed harder. What we do have is a top five finish for the weekend, which remains a good result.’ Kuun was pleased with his and Judd’s result. ‘The credit for this victory must go to the Volkswagen Sasolracing team, a massive achievement for them and a just reward for all their hard work,’ says Kuun. ‘This event was a big step for me after the first round accident and having to handle all the jumps this weekend. This has been a chance to build real confidence going forward.’

Fellow Polo S2000 pilots Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries were fast from the off, the pair third in stage one and claiming victories in both stages two and three. A technical issue saw them miss the rest of the first day, however, and they entered day two under Super Rally rules. Here they immediately went into battle claiming a fourth, two second places and a stage victory to finish 11th overall on the event. ‘We had a good run on day one, leading the rally,’ says Fekken. ‘We stayed with the leaders and did good times today under the Super Rally rules and the Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo S2000 is very good. Our issue on day one was unfortunate but we still made a strong showing this weekend.’

For reigning S2000 Challenge champions, Gugu Zulu and Carl Peskin, the Gauteng event started on an unexpected, but exciting note, when Peskin received a call to say his wife had gone into labour three weeks early. He rushed home to be present for the birth of his daughter, Cameron. Gerhard Snyman, who normally navigates for Japie van Niekerk, stepped in to aid Zulu as co-driver. The pair put in a good performance on the event, despite not having worked together before. An accident by another competitor in the final stage saw Zulu and Snyman sent to parc fermé instead of completing the stage. With just a minute needed for them to claim victory in the S2000 Challenge category, the final stage incident came as a disappointment. The pair still brought their Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo Vivo S2000 home second in the S2000 Challenge category – seventh place overall.

Other Polo finishers included Chad van Beurden and Henry Dearlove who placed 19th, and Paul Franken and Henry Kohne who came in 28th. Unfortunately Megan Verlaque and Oliver Verlaque in a Super 1600 Polo Vivo failed to finish the event. The Volkswagen Sasolracing team, meanwhile, will compete next in their home event, the Volkswagen Rally, on 19-20 July when they bring national rally action to fans in the Eastern Cape.

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