AGIP RALLY BULLETIN SIX 19/9/98 HABIG / JUDD TAKE TOUGH HOLD ON AGIP RALLY The Agip Rally, penultimate round of the Stannic National Rally Championship was turned up side down this morning. It took only one special stage to throw the event...
AGIP RALLY BULLETIN SIX 19/9/98
HABIG / JUDD TAKE TOUGH HOLD ON AGIP RALLY
The Agip Rally, penultimate round of the Stannic National Rally Championship was turned up side down this morning.
It took only one special stage to throw the event into a state of flux with reigning South African champions Jan Habig and Douglas Judd taking a tough hold on proceedings - and possibly wrapping up back to back national titles. At the Moorreesburg lunch stop with five special stages still to run Habig/Judd had a lead of around three minutes and looked to be cruising to victory.
It was special stage nine, the final stage before the lunch halt, that saw matters drastically alter at the top of the leaderboard.
First six times champion Serge Damseaux and Vito Bonafede dropped out when the Castrol Toyota Conquest finally succumbed to overheating problems and blew its motor. Then Enzo Kuun and Guy Hodgson had a wake-up call when they emerged safely through the flying finish only for the suspension on the Daewoo Lanos to collapse and catapult the pair into the wheat fields.
Hasty repairs saw Kuun/Hodgson back on the road but with Damseaux/Bonafede falling out and the Daewoo pair losing around three minutes Team Total Toyota Conquest crew of Etienne Lourens and Robert Paisley suddenly found themselves in second place.
Earlier 11 time champion Sarel van der Merwe and Martin Botha in the Daewoo Lanos lost time on special stage seven and then dropped down the field with suspension problems. With the demise of so many top runners Kuun/Hodgson were 39 seconds behind Lourens/Paisley at the lunch break. Fourth were Hergen Fekken and Dave Lewkowicz in the Dunair Toyota Conquest with the pair only two seconds ahead of Class S20 runners Callie van der Merwe and Andre Vermeulen in the Nissan Skyline. Unfortunately for van der Merwe and Vermeulen the S20 category does not qualify for championship points.
Only two seconds behind the Skyline and up into sixth place were Group N leaders Hannes Grobler and Dave McGregor in the Bridgestone Nissan Sentra. They had nearly a minute in hand over new Class A7 leaders Keith Coleman and Uwe Koch in a VW Golf.
Coleman//Koch moved ahead of overnight Class A7 leaders Tjaart van der Walt and Cindi Harding during the course of the morning and at the lunch stop were more than forty seconds clear of van der Walt/Harding.
Unofficial scoring at the lunch halt had two other Group N crews in the top ten. Cliff Blackman and Johan Klaasen were 27 seconds behind van der Walt/Harding with Team Total Toyota Conquest pair Dean Sanders and Graham Hooper into the top ten.