22 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Kuun in the championship driving seat as Polo S2000s dominate Swartland Rally

Fresh from their victory on the Osram Rally on 21-22 August, Enzo Kuun and Guy Hodgson once again took the prize on the Swartland Rally event on 18-19 September. In fact, it was a VW 1-2-3 finish, as Jan Habig and Douglas Judd came in second after a battle with fellow BP Volkswagen Polo S2000 team Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries. However, Kuun dominated the seventh round of the Sasol South African Rally Championship and moves within 4 points of clinching his second driver’s title after romping to an easy 40.3 second win. Co-driver Guy Hodgson took his title with a round to spare. The three Polos were briefly headed by Charl Wilken and Greg Godrich in their Basil Read/Bizhub Ford Fiesta S2000, who scorched the tarmac stages on Friday evening to lead the rally overall.

On Saturday’s first 26.8km long stage, Kuun and Hodgson took a 4.8 second lead over the rest of the field, and after stage five, Kuun was 25 seconds ahead, 37 seconds clear after the next and over 40 seconds in front after the final stage. The Volkswagen driver took the fastest times on four of the nine stages, while Fekken was quick on just one. The Cape Town-based VW pair also sealed the S2000 Championship on the Western Cape sortie. The incestuous VW fight for the balance of the podium placings saw Fekken/Arries on the middle step, three seconds ahead of Habig/Judd. The wily six times champion blasted through the last long stage outside Malmesbury just 0.3 seconds slower than stage winner Kuun, pushing Fekken to the bottom step of the podium.

Other Polo S2000 drivers included Nicholas Ryan and Armand du Toit, who brought their RCF/Jonnesway car home 10th overall. A misfire every time the car saw water cost Ryan a lot of time but they were happy with the result. Jaco van Dyk and Des De Fortier brought their Polo S2000 home 11th overall after a bolt in a lower control arm broke in stage seven, leaving the wheel rubbing inside the arch. They removed a bolt from the sump plate to do a repair on the run, but the sump hit a concrete culvert and damaged something deep in the engine bay, leaving the Polo running at 128°c at the end of the warm spring day. Theuns Joubert and Carl Peskin (Salom Group Polo S2000) broke a gearbox during the shakedown stage, which was replaced before the event. The Mokopane businessman then had a clean run to 12th place overall.

Privateer Polo S2000s didn’t fare so well. Evan Hutchison and Elvene Coetzee (Motorite Polo S2000) retired at the end of Friday with a cracked gearbox, while the class A7 Polos didn’t really get going. On Friday, Gavin Cronje and Henry Dearlove (Easylife Kitchens Faerie Glen Polo) had a strut break through the bonnet, while Gugu Zulu and Cindi Harding (BP Volkswagen Polo) retired with a cooked motor after stage three on the same day. Meanwhile, Charl Strydom and Sakkie Bosman (A6 Sabre Paints Polo) were excluded for using skimmed tyres for the tarmac stages. The final round of the 2010 Sasol South African Rally Championship is the Toyota Dealer Rally Gauteng on 15-16 October.

[Images: David Ledbitter for QuickPic]

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