14 April 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Zulu and Peskin rally fourth for Volkswagen Saolracing at Sasol Rally

2014 Sasol Rally: Zulu/Peskin

Round two of the 2014 South African National Rally Championship, the Sasol Rally, took place in Nelspruit on 11-12 April, and Volkswagen Sasolracing’s Gugu Zulu and Carl Peskin finished the gruelling event in fourth place.

Having a fearsome and tough reputation, the 2014 Sasol Rally certainly lived up to its name. Zulu and Peskin’s Polo S2000 was a victim of multiple punctures – two within the first 10km on day one’s action – but the duo ended the first half of the event in fourth place, a position they would keep up to the finish.

‘The Sasol Rally didn’t smile on us this year,’ said Zulu. ‘We recovered to fourth overnight and I did think we were in with a chance for a podium. It didn’t work out as this event is very unpredictable, but it felt good bringing home the first Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo S2000 at the Sasol Rally.’

Zulu and Peskin’s team-mates Henk Latagen and Barry White were only two places further down the field after the two days and 14 stages were over. ‘This is one of the toughest events I’ve ever done,’ remarked Lategan. ‘Sometimes things were perfect, but three punctures and other issues took their toll. But, we worked hard to make it to the finish, winning stage 11 in the process.’

Meanwhile, Hans Weijs Jnr and Bjorn Degandt finished the event under Super Rally rules on Saturday, claiming three stage victories in the process. Stages 10, 12 and 13 fell to their determined attack at an event the pair regard as a favourite amongst South African rallies.

The rally’s location in Mpumalanga, in the Nelspruit, White River and Sabie areas means a combination of gravel and tar stages. ‘I like these stages a lot,’ said Weijs. ‘Our times were good and it proves we are going in the right direction. I like this event, especially with the conditions. It is a big challenge and a nice event.’

Mike Rowe, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport was happy with his team’s result: ‘All of the Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo S2000s were there at the finish, racking up four stage victories in the process. We knew, and were expecting, extremely tough conditions at the Sasol Rally, it is one of the events where experience counts – and I believe that shows, we brought all of our cars home where not every team can claim that achievement.’

Other Sasol Rally Polo finishers included Thilo Himmel and Armand du Toit in their S2000 Challenge car (fifth overall and winner of the class), and Chad van Beurden and Nico Swartz in their S1600. Paulus Franken and Henry Kohne brought the Manitou Polo S1600 home 26th.

AC Potgieter and Tommy du Toit finished 28th in the number 72 Polo S1600, while the Polo S1600 of JemSport’s Marko Himmel and Francois Schoonbee was unable to complete the event.

The next round of the 2014 South African National Rally Championship is the PMC Rally, which takes place on 23-24 May in Gauteng.

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