The upcoming National Rally Championship double-header in Bronkhorstspruit on October 13 and 14 has a bag full of vital points on offer with the 2023 season far from being decided.
While the points log may look as though JJ Potgieter and Tommy du Toit have the Driver’s and Navigator’s titles in the bag with 222 points apiece, some 85 ahead of their nearest rival, the Hyundai R4 pairing knows full well in rallying anything can happen – and probably will!
They lead the NRC1 category for four-wheel drive cars and, despite having some issues at the last outing in Tzaneen, Benjamin Habig and Barry White (Just Tools Volkswagen Polo) are lying second overall as well as the NRC2 class for two-wheel drive cars.
‘Bronkies’ will be split into two distinct events with one full rally on the Friday and a second on the Saturday – providing plenty of spectating opportunities as well as a chance for any crews having an early problem to get things fixed overnight.
Current South African Champions, Chris Coertse and Greg Godrich are lying second overall in NRC1 and looking to rack up aa big points haul after a major crash at the Tzaneen event left their Rally Technic Mazda2 looking somewhat worse for wear.
“We are nearly finished the rebuild and hope to get in some testing time early next week,” says Coertse. “The testing is vital just to see if the incident left any latent faults that were not immediately obvious. Hopefully all will be good and we can mount a serious challenge.”
The ‘Swazi Cowboy’ Jono van Wyk and Nico Swartz in one of two Toyota Gazoo Racing Starlets sit third on the NRC1 log on 93 points and are really hoping for a good event having failed to score in Tzaneen when their engine blew and, despite some long hours put in by team manager Guy Botterill and the spanner men, could not be repaired.
It has been a tough run for the team with Mandla Mdakane/Kes Naidoo also failing to finish the event in Tzaneen but are still lying fourth overall in the class.
“The team has been hard at work back at the workshop to do a full rebuild on the car along with some development work and the feedback so far is we should be starting with a well-sorted car,” says Kes Naidoo.
“I am not certain what the special stages in Bronkhorstspruit will look like, but I am expecting it to be quite a fast event so very exciting for us in the car as well as the spectators.”
Gustav Potgieter/Carolyn Swann (Ford Fiesta R2) currently hold second place in the NRC2 category on 90 points to the 137 of log leaders Habig/White but are a mere five points ahead of Gerald Klopper/Johan Aucamp (Toyota Etios) with Nico Nienaber/Juandre Nienaber (Toyota Etios) on 62 points.
The only female driver in the NRC2 field, Magriet Potgieter with Rikus Fourie in the hot seat of their Wurth Ford Fiesta R2 is on 56 and keen to make inroads into the points race, also having suffered terminal engine issues in Tzaneen.
On Friday, the event will consist of 7 Special stages totaling 85kms of Racing on day 1. The famous Skietbaan stage on Rusfontein located off the R25 towards Groblersdal will offer some great spectating opportunities. From there the Crews head back onto the Arbor Road to Witklip Farm to fight for honors before going in for their first service break. The Service Park will be located on Witklip Farm – Arbor Road.
Saturday the Northern Regions Regional Competitors join the event for their Round 4 of the Regional Championship. The event will commence at 10:45 both days. The 2 Farms of Gustav and Billa Potgieter off the R25 and the Vlakfontein Road, will Host stages 1,2,4 and 5 with Stages 3 and 6 being in close vicinity of the Service Park at Witklip Farm on the Arbor Road. Saturday will see the crews complete 85.61 km giving the National Competitors a total of 169.91 kilometers of hard racing.
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Published by: William Louw – SA National Rally Administrator
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