South African champions Jan Habig and Douglas Judd in the factory Sasol VW Golf 4 looked to be headed back to the top of the championship table when then Volkswagen Millenium Rally, round five of the South African National Rally Championship, ...
South African champions Jan Habig and Douglas Judd in the factory Sasol VW Golf 4 looked to be headed back to the top of the championship table when then Volkswagen Millenium Rally, round five of the South African National Rally Championship, restarted in Port Elizabeth this morning.
After two special stages this morning Habig and Judd were one minute and 40 seconds clear of Team Total Toyota Corolla pair Etienne Lourens and Robert Paisley. The KwaZulu Natalians were under severe pressure from seven time South African champion Serge Damseaux and Guy Hodgson in the Dealer Team Toyota Corolla.
The cancellation overnight of special stage two yesterday saw a re-shuffle at the top of the leaderboard with Damseaux/Hodgson falling back to third place behind Lourens and Paisley. Damseaux/Hodgson were 32 seconds behind the Team Total crew at the start of the day but at the end of stage 11 the gap was down to seven seconds.
Damseaux and Hodgson were on a charge and also took time off Habig and Judd in both the first two special stages of the day. With only four stages remaining the fight was on between the two Toyota crews.
Running in fourth place but loosing ground to Damseaux/Hodgson and Lourens/Paisley were Tjaart van der Walt and Cindi Harding in a second Sasol VW Golf. On special stage 11 the Golf dropped 28 seconds to Damseaux and Hodgson and 16 seconds to Lourens and Paisley.
After clear but windy conditions on day one the weather turned nasty overnight. When proceedings got underway this morning it was cloudy, rainy and bitterly cold.
After four stages in the Longmore Forests, crews were scheduled to start making their way back to Port Elizabeth via Willow Dam in Uitenhage. The final two special stages of the event will be run at the Aldo Scribante Circuit and Kings Beach.
- Colin Windell