Lewellyn Jones (Somerset West) and Christophé Pichon (Welgemoed) lived up to expectations by dominating the CPMCC Swartland Rally, winning all eight stages enroute to an emphatic victory in their CEJ Plant Hire 434 CPMCC S5 Subaru Impreza STi WRX 2.0 Turbo AWD. Four consecutive victories have pulled them right back into contention for the 2019 Western Cape Rally Championship despite having missed the opening round.
Shaun Jones (Durbanville) and Jason Thorpe finally managed to get their Advanced Asphalt 424 CPMCC S5 Subaru Impreza STi WRX 2.0 AWD to last a rally distance to makes history and finish second overall with a calculated drive, holding second position from the start.
Paul-Hendrik Franken (Gansbaai) and Matt-Jason Köhler (Heathfield) might have hoped for second rather than third in the now final 2020 specification Vivo GT Cup 125 WPMC S5 VW Polo Vivo GT 1.0 Turbo but the amazing little car certainly did not disappoint in third overall. Early concerns about overheating thought to be related to the new five speed gearbox certainly did not slow them much and against all odds they now find themselves (unofficially) leading the points challenge going into the final event on 5 October 2019.
For championship contenders, Ismaeel Davids (Rondebosch) and Yusuf Ganief (Surrey Estate), the event turned into a disaster and the ID Paving 431 CCMCC S5 Toyota Run X 2.0 4x4 was forced to retire after special stage seven having tripped over the same rock as Giniel de Villiers a few years earlier. Dropping to third on points, but still very much in the hunt going into the final event this championship is really going down to the final Parc Fermé.
Riyaan Amlay (Grassy Park) and Yaseen Amlay (Retreat) were in super determined mood using, at times, more than just the obvious route enroute to an impressive fourth overall in the Ramlay Builders 433 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6i. Entertaining to watch, but possibly risking a little too much they have now tipped the S3 class championship their way. Mustapha Mia (Kensington) and Ameen Snell (Ottery) suffered a lack of gears and a broken exhaust but did their level best to maintain the pressure in fifth place with the Mia’s Motorsport 456 CCMCC S3 Toyota Tazz 1.6i. Expect these two teams to be at it again come October.
Sixth overall was a great result for Derick Clift (Paarl) and Marius Rudolph (Bothasig) in the ACW Engineering 418 CPMCC S4 Toyota Hilux 2.0 LDV and given their current form another visit to the classic Total Tara Rally Namibia sets a future goal. Sakkie van Zyl (wellington) and Henry Köhne (Pretoria) had a brilliant debut in the ex-Tiaan Rabe Shatterfix 404 WPMC S2 VW Golf MkI 1.6i, finishing in a great seventh overall.
Marius Swart (Stellenbosch) and Angelique Swart (Stellenbosch) struggled with a list of problems prior to the event but eighth overall brought out the smiles as the EPR 4x4 438 CPMCC S4 VW Golf MkI 2.0 8v never missed a beat on the day. Julian Calvert (Goodwood) and Lloyd Lingeveldt (Kenilworth) found themselves beached in soft sand on SS4 but continued to finally finish ninth overall in Liewe Lulu 409 CCMCC S3 VW Golf MkIII GTi 2.0. The top ten completed by Paul Emmanuel (Constantia) and Robin Benjamin (Steenberg) in their 449 CCMCC S4 VW Polo 2.0.
Gareth Vernon (Pinelands) and Gillian Vernon (Pinelands) lacked the outright power but still managed to bring the 459 CPMCC S2 VW Golf MkI 1.4i home in eleventh spot, the final classified finishers of the event. Paul van Wyk (Bloubergstrand) and Kesevan Naidoo (Kuilsrivier) forced to miss the penultimate stage when they broke a CV on the acciDent Guru 469 WBMK S3 VW Golf MkI 2.0 8v, finishing the vent under super rally rules.
With 23 teams starting the event the attrition rate was rather surprising as only 11 teams were classified as finishers. Wet weather leading up to the event had created the expectations of a wet event, but then it turned in summer and the day brought high temperatures and dust. Taking precautions for potential water related issues saw many teams enclosing the engine compartments, which reduced airflow and raised oil and water temperatures. Fitting wet weather tyres also proving to be a mistake as the softer wet tyres were simply churned up on the warmer, dryer roads.
Shaheen Amlay (Kensington) and Clint Lingeveldt (Lansdowne) disappearing on special stage one with a blown engine on the Amlay Motorsport 402 CCMCC S4 Toyota Run X RSi 1.8i. Initial plans to run the lightweight Toyota Tazz discarded in favour of the Abdurghman Run X, but still no result. Mike Nathan (Tableview) and Carl Peskin did not enjoy much more luck with the 417 CCMCC Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 2.0 Turbo AWD being withdrawn after SS2 with a very sick sounding engine. Johann Zulch (Ceres) and Petra Zulch (Ceres) also suffering a rare retirement with engine maladies on the Ceres Toyota backed 439 WBMK S2 Ford Escort 1600 Sport after SS2. Charl Strydom (Durbanville) and Sakkie Bosman (Bloubergstrand) also retiring after SS2 with a broken radiator on the Sabre Paints 406 CPMCC S4 VW Polo 2.0 20v.
Paul van Wyk (Bloubergstrand) and Kesevan Naidoo (Kuilsrivier) rolled to a halt shortly before the end of SS4 when a CV broke on the acciDent Guru 469 VW Golf MkI 2.0 8v and though they would contest the final two stages under Super Rally rules their good run was spoiled.
Seraaj Amlay (Lotus River) and Amjad Classen (Lansdowne) looked very good in the opening stages but cruised into retirement after SS4 with the Ramlay Builders 457 CCMCC S3 VW Golf MkIII GTi 2.0. Owen Jones (Durbanville) and Michelle Taylor (Plattekloof) suffering complete right rear suspension failure on the Advanced Asphalt 454 CPMCC S4 BMW E36 328i on SS4.
Kevin Calvert (Pinelands) and Brian Hoskins (Tableview) was also enjoying a good run until their 436 WPMC S2 VW Golf MkI 1.6i fell foul of a broken CV on SS5. Keenan Sassman (Monte Vista) and Randall Marais (Kensington) most unfortunate when their Barno 413 CCMCC S4 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.8i expired with overheating after SS 5.
Andy Haigh-Smith (Philadelphia) and Tania Vermaak (Strand) looked set for a most encouraging result in the AHS Racing 432 CPMCC / WBMK S3 Mitsubishi Lancer GT 1600 but on SS7 electrical problems saw the gutsy combination grind to a halt. Trevor Hodges (Ottery) and Ian Thebus (Edgemead) even less fortunate with CV problems on the final stage in the 421 CCMCC S4 VW Golf MkIII GTi 2.0 16v.
It was great to note large numbers of spectators present on the various spectator points and credit to local media such as the Het Zwartlander newspaper supporting sport in their area. Moving into the next generation of rallyists obvious with the reunion of many old hands at these spectator points, but also encouraging to see that the enthusiasm is still alive and well. Thank you to all who kept the spectator areas litter free and honoured the requests of the marshals.
The final round of the 2019 Western Cape Rally Championship is scheduled for Saturday 5 October 2019 in the Riebeek Kasteel district. The CPMCC Swartland Rally have certainly set the scene for a brilliant season finale and it is anticipated that the CCMCC Riebeek Kasteel Rally will be attracting a bumper entry.
Clerk of the Course, Robert Marle, once again ably supported by Billy Thorpe and the many other hands required to run a rally. The Swartland always a testing experience for marshals who have to brave the heat, dust and infamous gnats. Thank you to Imperial Toyota Cape Gate, A&A Powder Coaters, K&H Freight, Polyplastix, Amandla Construction, CEJ Plant Hire, Tiptrans Bottelfontein and Nuweplaas Farmstall.
Follow-up suffered engine problems and Team 424 sportingly trailered their rally car home and then returned to collect the stricken official vehicle. And in between they still contested the oval meeting in Worcester too! Compliments from various competitors with respect to the route marking much appreciated.
Roll on Riebeek Kasteel!
Published by: Patrick Vermaak
Picture Caption: Llewllyn Jones - Christophe Pichon - Subariu Impreza STi WRX Turbo AWD (1)
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