If Porterville was wet Riebeek Kasteel was next level extreme in terms of water, mud and grip (or should that be lack of grip). Round 5 of the 2023 Western Cape Class Club Rally Championship returned to the Swartland district with the popular Jarat Tours Riebeek Valley Rally and the scene was set for a really entertaining tussle in every class.
Paul van Wyk and Matthew Köhler started the day in top form by winning the opening special stage in their “home grown Quattro”, the acciDent Guru Audi 469 CPMCC S5 S3 1.8 Turbo 4×4. Inus du Plessis and Piet Carinus somewhat shellshocked dropping eleven seconds in their Coastal Tool Hire 461 CPMCC S5 BMW E36 328i whilst pre-event favourites Ismaeel Davids and Yusuf Ganief dropped sixteen seconds in their ID Paving 431 CCMCC S5 Toyota Run X 2.0 4×4 S2000.
The opening special stage was exceptionally wet with powerboats possibly a better option as transport and if you got through the water a serious lack of traction had cars driving sideways instead of forward.
Rupert van Zyl and Justin Gay led class S4 after SS1 in Die Hollandse Motor Spesialis 405 CPMCC S4 VW Polo 2.0 16v, with Warren Köhler and Lloyd Brady dropping 1min21 in their Köhler Pac 465 CPMCC S4 BMW E36 328i. Gareth Vernon and Marius Rudolph a distant third in their 459 CPMCC S4 BMW E36 328i. Cobus Edas and Carl Peskin spluttered to a halt in their Suzuki Malmesbury 464 CCMCC S4 Toyota Corolla RXi 1800 and found themselves time-barred by the time the engine fired-up again. Jacques du Plessis and Riaan van Zyl had the fanbelt come off their very neat Du Plessis Auto Ceres 453 CPMCC S4 Toyota Conquest 1800 and the belt then destroyed the pick-up on the engine, forcing them into retirement for the day.
In class S3 Seraaj and Yusuf Amlay (Amlay Construction 457 CCMCC S3 Toyota Tazz 160i) held a seven second advantage over Benjamin Johnson and Christoff Löttering (Shield 468 CPMCC S3 VW Polo 2.0) with Riyaan Amlay and Aghmad Abrahams (Ramlay Builders 433 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1600) in third spot. Johann and Petra Zulch as always holding their own in their Ceres Toyota 439 CPMCC S2 Ford Escort 1600 Sport. Due to being the only car in class S2 they were forced to compete in class S3.
Yaseen Amlay and David Abrahamson also falling foul the deep pools when their ex-Mustapha Mia Mia’s Auto 470 Toyota Conquest 160i expired with bent valves on the opening stage. The MoveChamp 445 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1600 of Justin Engle and Ryan Pey also failed it’s first swimming lesson but they were still in the rally as was Pete and Denzil Isaacs in their 471 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1600.
The rain subsided but by now the Arrowing crew had wrongslotted and got stuck to the extent that the experienced 0 car crew (Thorsten Pey and Mark Palmer) had to complete the arrowing for SS2 in the Teletubby LandRover Discovery V8. Sweep collected Time Cards and a 4×4 Bakkie had to collect the cars stuck in SS1.
And then the fun started as Ismaeel Davids and Yusuf Ganief set about chasing after the Audi and BMW by winning the next four stages. Shaheen and Yusuf Amlay started showing some form in the ex-John Peiser Amlay Motorsport 402 CCMCC S5 Subaru Impreza GT 2.0 Turbo 4×4 by moving into fourth spot after SS2. The Engle / Pey Corolla insisted on more extensive swimming lessons and lost even more time on SS2. Rupert van Zyl and Justin Gay parked their VW Polo with a suspected broken ECU whilst Benjamin Johnson slipped into the S3 lead.
With weather and road conditions improving visibly for SS3 (repeat of the flooded SS1) everyone showed vast improvements in time. That is everyone except Riyaan Amlay who lost some 22min with an alternator problem. The Audi now five seconds ahead of the Run X with the heavy Beemer gamely hanging on to third spot. Repeating special stage 2 as four the improving road conditions saw almost everyone a minute faster than before but the Run X remained second by four seconds with the Beemer third. That is everyone but Riyaan Amlay who opted for a scrum session with an immovable hay bale in his Toyota. Hay 1 – Corolla 0.
Stages five and six was another repeat and everyone was very complimentary of the beautiful nature of the road. Ismaeel Davids taking a wopping twenty seconds back to lead the rally. Paul van Wyk now 17 seconds shy of victory with Inus du Plessis losing time in third with a puncture. Benjamin Johnson still ahead of Shaheen Amlay with Seraaj Amlay sixth.
With the result almost printed at the start of SS6 the ID Paving 431 CCMCC S5 Toyota Run X 2.0 4×4 S2000 of Ismaeel Davids and Yusuf Ganief ground to a halt enroute to the stage start with terminal gearbox maladies. Paul van Wyk and Matthew Köhler giving up some time to the Inus du Plessis and Piet Carinus Coastal Tool Hire 461 CPMCC S4 BMW E36 328i on the final stage but the reward was a first overall victory for the unique acciDent Guru 469 CPMCC S5 Audi S3 1.8 Turbo 4×4 and the 2023 Western Cape Class S5 Rally Championship.
Shaheen and Yusuf Amlay well pleased with third overall on debut in their Amlay Motorsport 402 CCMCC S5 Subaru Impreza GT 2.0 Turbo 4×4. A first class victory and fourth overall just the encouragement required for Benjamin Johnson and Christoff Löttering in the fastest Ostrich in the Western Cape, the Shield 468 CPMCC S3 VW Polo 2.0.
Seraaj and Ziyaad Amlay content with second in class and fifth overall as the result secured the 2023 Western Cape Class S3 Rally Championship for the Amlay Construction 457 CCMCC S3 Toyota Tazz 160i.
Warren Köhler and Lloyd Brady slithered their way into sixth overall to claim the 2023 Western Cape Class S4 Rally Championship in their Köhler Pac 465 CCMCC S4 BMW E36 328i. Father Warren winning S4 and the class championship as drive whilst so, Matthew, won S5 and the class championship for 2023.
Brother and sister Juneyed and Rehanah Edas in seventh spot with their lightweight CK Vapes 466 CCMCC S3 Toyota Tazz 160i and in eighth it was husband and wife, Johann and Petra Zulch, in their Ceres Toyota 439 CPMCC S2/S3 Ford Escort 1600 Sport. Faizel Davids and Tyler Croy ninth in their Xtreme Motorsport 422 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1600 with the top ten completed by Gareth Vernon and Marius Rudolph in their 459 CPMCC S4 BMW E36 328i. Julian Calvert and Nicholas Knights eleventh in their Liewe Lulu 409 CPMCC S3 VW Golf MkIII GTi 2.0 8v.
The final classified finishers of the event in twelfth spot was Justin Engle and Ryan Pey in their MoveChamp 445 CCMCC S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1600. Those swimming lessons certainly cost them a potential second place in S3, but this combination should come into their own in 2024.
Trevor Hodges said to be hosting a rally car spares auction soon – he collected quite a few leftovers on stages. Somewhere between mud showers some legendary figures were noted amongst the spectators. Mr Mr Natal, Peter Alterskye, finally showed up at a local rally as did former WP Navigators champion Danie de Waal. Cobus Erasmus another familiar face.
A tough, testing, final event for 2023 delivered possibly the best result of the season and with so many potential new combinations on the 2024 horizon the Western Cape could well see the 60th annual championship deliver a classic season.
The 2023 Western Cape Club Class Championship points still to be ratified but hopefully the oldest regional sport championship in South Africa will once again stand proud in 2024.
To every official, sponsor, competitor and spectator a hearty thank you!
Published by: Patrick Vermaak
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