Stannic Tour Natal Day 1 - March 12

STANNIC TOUR NATAL/MARCH 12 AND 13 , 1999 Day 1 - March 12 Bulletin No 5 SLENDER DAY ONE LEAD FOR HABIG/JUDD ON STANNIC TOUR NATAL Factory VW Golf crew Jan Habig and Douglas Judd took a slender lead on day one of the 41st Stannic Tour...

STANNIC TOUR NATAL/MARCH 12 AND 13 , 1999

Day 1 - March 12

Bulletin No 5

SLENDER DAY ONE LEAD FOR HABIG/JUDD ON STANNIC TOUR NATAL

Factory VW Golf crew Jan Habig and Douglas Judd took a slender lead on day one of the 41st Stannic Tour Natal, opening round of the Stannic National Rally Championship, which started in Pietermaritzburg today.

At the end of the seven special stages which made up the first leg of the event, unofficial scoring saw Habig and Judd holding a 21 second lead over Castrol Toyota Conquest crew Serge Damseaux and Guy Hodgson. Third at the overnight stop at Umhlanga Rocks were Sasol Motorcraft Ford Escort pair Paolo Piazza Musso and Richard Leeke.

The Ford pair were 52 seconds behind Damseaux and Hodgson and 41 seconds ahead of fourth placed Etienne Lourens and Robert Paisley in the Team Total Toyota Conquest. The four crews, all competing in the premier Class A8 category, were well ahead of the rest of the Group A competitors.

Jean-Pierre Damseaux, son of Serge, and Pierre Arries were fifth in a Team Total Toyota Conquest, but were over two minutes behind Lourens and Paisley. Damseaux and Arries were running at the head of Class A6, and held a 19 second lead over reigning class champions Hergen Fekken and Dave Lewkowicz (Dunair Toyota Conquest) who picked up a 20 second penalty for lateness at a time control.

Behind the two Class A6 cars Class A7 was led by Natalian Tony Ball and Marti Olivier in the Bulwer Park VW Golf. They were 16 seconds ahead of Team Total VW Golf crew Barry Grobbelaar and Mike Burrows with reigning class champions Tjaart van der Walt and Cindi Harding, in the Rieks 7 Eleven VW Golf, among the day's major casualties with a blown motor after three special stages.

Class S20 crew Callie van der Merwe and Andre Vermeulen, who don't score points towards the championship, were ninth at the overnight halt with Group N category and Class N3 leaders Cliff Blackman and Johan Klaasen completing the top 10 in the Team Total Nissan Sentra. Reigning champion Hannes Grobler, partnered this year by Wiley Harrington in the Total Bridgestone Nissan Sentra, was also a major casualty - with the pair also going out with a blown engine in special stage three.

The Stannic Tour Natal restarts in Umhlanga at 07h00 tomorrow with the rally finishing back in the popular holiday resort late tomorrow afternoon.

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Series Other rally