06 June 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Franken and Kohne find their feet in Polo R2 at Toyota Gauteng Dealer Rally

2013 Toyota Gauteng Dealer Rally: Franken/Kohne

As well as the Volkswagen Sasolracing team’s fleet of Polo S2000s, the third round of the 2013 South African National Rally Championship (SANRC) saw the smaller Manitou Group Polo R2 heading to Gauteng for the Toyota Gauteng Dealer Rally. Paul Franken and Henry Kohne found their feet in the Polo R2, and with their notes and systems in the car starting to fall into place, it gave them confidence to start pushing early.

With up to 15 entries in the class, the pair found them self laying fourth in class at the end of day one, with five stages behind them which would be repeated on day two. After 91km of intense rallying, they were in a comfortable position, 22 seconds behind third place. In the first stage of day two, the pair got into rhythm quickly, and with the set-up of the car being better than on day one, they were looking forward to the second leg of the rally. Unfortunately, the team’s season of bad luck continued striking halfway into stage six, leaving Franken and Kohne with a broken sideshaft, forcing the Manitou Polo to retire.

2013 Toyota Gauteng Dealer Rally: Franken/Kohne

‘I have been finding it difficult to get to grips with the Polo R2 early in the season but I have been gaining some valuable seat time in the car and starting to feel at home behind the wheel of the car. Being on pace at the Toyota Gauteng Dealer Rally gives us some much-needed confidence and we are looking forward to the rest of the season,’ said Paul Franken. The team will continue to work hard between events and is preparing for the next round of the SANRC, the Volkswagen Rally on the 19-20 July in the Eastern Cape. The Franken/Kohne Polo R2 is supported by Manitou Group, Volkswagen Racing, and Sasol.

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22 April 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Sasolracing team fight rain-soaked conditions at Sasol Rally

2013 Sasol Rally: Henk Letegan/Barry White

Henk Lategan and Barry White battled the rain and inclement conditions at the Sasol Rally in Nelspruit over 19-20 April to claim a fourth place overall for the South African Volkswagen Sasolracing rally team. Even with multiple punctures, the duo were the top-placed VW finishers in their Polo S2000. Two of the 15 stages on the two-day event were cancelled, with the second day having almost constant rain. The wet conditions didn’t stop Gugu Zulu and Carl Peskin either, their Polo Vivo S2000 finishing seventh, the reigning S2000 Challenge champions taking the honours once more in the category.

‘It was an unpredictable rally and today was particularly tough,’ said Lategan. ‘It was difficult just staying on the road and we found ourselves going full-lock in both directions on the straights. The most important thing was for us was to get to the finish of the event.’ Mike Rowe, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa agreed. ‘The Sasol Rally proved a real challenge this year. Henk and Barry did well in just their second outing for the Volkswagen Sasolracing team. They put in a good performance and even recorded a stage win in the process.’

The Sasol Rally was the first outing for the new pairing of Enzo Kuun and Douglas Judd, following the retirement of Kuun’s longstanding co-driver Guy Hodgson. Not expected to be competitive, the pair didn’t finish the event. An opportunity to get some time together in the car, the pair achieved their goal, according to Rowe. Finally, Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries put in good stage times on the second day of the event, claiming several stage times within the top five finishers. Technical problems during the first day of the event cost them in terms of overall rally time and they finished just inside the top 10, claiming ninth place overall.

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