The season opening Daniel Pienaar Rally certainly turned into a rally of attrition in hot & dusty conditions on the outskirts of Kariega & Uitenhage on Saturday and the old saying ‘to finish first, you first need to finish’ could not have been truer for the field 23 entries.
The biggest of the casualties were the national pairing of Neels Vosloo & Rikus Fourie in their Hella/Herotel backed VW Polo who suffered damper failure in the early stage of the event & this led to them rolling out of contention in stage three. With just 3 weeks to go before the opening round of the National Rally Championship it will certainly be a race against the clock to get their car repaired.
Gary Heine & Demi Kretzmann in their Triple L VW Polo ran into early problems in stage two as did team mates Deon Kretzmann & Jason Schreiber in stage three. Ross & Roxanne Bartle retired their Triple L sponsored VW Polo with a blown gearbox in stage four & Nick Davidson & Ashley Bezuidenhout dropped out in stage six when their brand new Toyota Auris developed mechanical issues, this after having won stages 2,3 & 4. Defending champions Oliver de Man & Ingrid Jeacocks were plagued by technical issues with their classic Toyota Corolla & finished about 15 minutes behind the winning time.
A large appreciative crowd followed all of the stages from the close confines of the Daniel Pienaar School grounds to the bumpy Innibos dirt sections & then the fast flow flowing sections of Spidersweb before finishing back at the DP School grounds. A highlight of the event was the participation of the ex-factory team Nissan Skylines of Hannes Grobler & Kassie Coetzee with Martin van Zummeren & Shaylene Godfrey in one & Wade van Zummeren & Robbie Coetzee in the other. Kassie Coetzee was on hand to share many a nostalgic rally story & to witness all of the action first hand after having travelled down from his home in Mpumalanga.
Despite an early setback in the opening stage of the rally where they damaged a steering arm on their VW Polo after clipping a kerbstone, Clyde Challenor & Grayham Bishop showed that is once again consistency that counts when it comes to overall honours bringing their VW Polo home in first place almost 2 seconds ahead of the VW Polo of Riekus Schmidt & Sherilee Pieterse in second & the Polo of Juan & Tarryn van Rooyen in third.
The class winners were as follows –
- – 1st Devilliers Wessels & Francois Anker VW Polo 250 1.2 TSI
- – 2nd Ulrich Roberts & Wesley Schultz VW Golf A1 1400
- – 1st Riekus Schmidt & Shirlee Pieterse VW Polo 250 2L
- – 2nd Juan & Tarryn van Rooyen VW Polo 250 1600
- – 3rd Jeandre’ Marais & Tegan Taljaard Toyota Conquest 1600
- – 1st Clyde Challenor & Grayham Bishop VW Polo 240 2L
- – 2nd Johan & Juane Viljoen VW Polo 250 2L
- – 3rd Herman Bernhardt & JP Smit Ford Escort 2L
Published by: Brendan Kelly
Picture Caption: Rally winners Clyde Challenor & Grayham Bishop negotiate the Spidersweb stage of the rally.
Photography by: Darryl Kukard – Motor Mouth
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