PRIVATEERS FEATURE PROMINENTLY IN STANNIC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP Factory assisted and privateer teams feature prominently in the top 10 of the overall championship and at the top of class championships in the Stannic National Rally...
PRIVATEERS FEATURE PROMINENTLY IN STANNIC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
Factory assisted and privateer teams feature prominently in the top 10 of the overall championship and at the top of class championships in the Stannic National Rally Championship.
At the halfway mark - after four rounds - unofficial scoring sees factory assisted and privateer teams fill eight of the top 10 placings in the drivers and co-drivers championship. They also lead five of the six class championships with tight battles emerging in some categories.
After the recent Sasol Rally the Castrol Toyota and VW Golf factory crews of Serge Damseaux/Vito Bonafede and Jannie Habig/Douglas Judd top the drivers and co-drivers championship. The rest of the top 10 positions are filled by factory assisted or privateer crews, with Class A7 leaders Tjaart van der Walt and Cindi Harding third in the Rieks Towing VW Golf which now has additional backing from GNT and 7 Eleven.
Van der Walt and Harding, three times second in the overall championship since 1993 are still in touch with the leaders. They are 12 points behind Habig/Judd and have an 18 point advantage over fourth placed Dunair Toyota crew of Hergen Fekken and Dave Lewkowicz, who rally with factory assistance from Toyota.
Fifth in the championship are former South African rally and off-road champion Hannes Grobler and Dave McGregor who are one of three Group N teams in the top 10. Grobler and McGregor, in the Bridgestone Nissan Sentra, are only eight points behind Fekken and Lewkowicz - who lead Class A6 - and have picked up three Group N category wins in a row.
Grobler and McGregor lead Class N3 and are followed in the championship by fellow Class N3 crew Cliff Blackman and Johan Klaasen in the Team Total Nissan Sentra. The Natalians, however, are under pressure from Craig Trott/Brian Duncan and Paolo Piazza-Musso/Nic Hadden in the Sasol Ford Escort which runs in Class A8.
Only three points separate the three crews with Piazza-Musso and Hadden one of a string of teams to be hit by a non finish on the Sasol Rally. Piazza-Musso and Hadden drop to eighth with Etienne Lourens/Robert Paisley (Team Total Toyota Conquest), Barry Grobbelaar/Mike Burrows (Team Total VW Golf), Jean-Pierre Damseaux/Pierre Arries (Team Total Toyota Conquest) and Diffie Marais/Danie de Waal also hit by Sasol Rally non finishes.
Lourens/Paisley drop to ninth, ahead of Richard Behm who is 10th in the drivers championship and Marais who is 10th in the co-drivers title stakes. Behm competed on the Sasol Rally with former South African champion Martin Botha as co-driver in the Palbin Opel Corsa.
Behm now leads the Class N2 drivers championship by two points from de Waal, with Marais still at the top of the co-drivers championship. Pretoria crew Allen Worms and Ashley Gericke (Lessan Engineering Opel Corsa) still lead the Class N1 championship, but the gap between them and Toyota Conquest crew Rodney Visagie and Chris Olsen is now down to five points.
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