18 JULY 1998 12:45 DRAMA UNFOLDS FOR LEADING CREWS ON VOLKSWAGEN RALLY While Jannie Habig and Douglas Judd strolled towards victory in the Volkswagen Rally, round five of the Stannic National Rally Championship, all sorts of drama was ...
18 JULY 1998 12:45
DRAMA UNFOLDS FOR LEADING CREWS ON VOLKSWAGEN RALLY
While Jannie Habig and Douglas Judd strolled towards victory in the Volkswagen Rally, round five of the Stannic National Rally Championship, all sorts of drama was unfolding behind the reigning South African champions.
At the regroup after 10 of the scheduled 14 special stages Habig/Judd lead Tjaart van der Walt and Cindi Harding, in the Rieks Towing VW Golf, by around eight minutes with Jean Pierre Damseaux and Pierre Arries third in the Team Total Toyota Conquest. The gap between van der Walt/Harding and Damseaux/Arries at this stage was about 41 seconds with the local crew Keith Coleman/Uwe Koch in another VW Golf and Barry Grobbelaar and Mike Burrows in the Team Total VW Golf.
Drama erupted on special stage 10 when Hergen Fekken and Dave Lewkowicz lying second in the Dunair Toyota Conquest went off the road and lost valuable time. The pair managed to get out the stage and were following van der Walt/Harding en route to the service area when they were hit by Damseaux/Bonafede who were travelling in the opposite direction in the Castrol Toyota Conquest. Damseaux/Bonafede, leading the championship before this event and 16th overnight, had worked their way back into the top ten at the end of special stage nine. It is believed they were on their way back to the control point at the end of special stage 10 to sort out a query when they collided with Fekken/Lewkowicz.
The Dunair Toyota Conquest arrived at the service point with the right rear wheel missing while Toyota service crew rushed off to repair the factory Castrol Toyota Conquest. Initial reports were that the Damseaux /Bonafede car had lost its right front wheel.
At the regroup Natalian Cliff Blackman and Johan Klaasen in the Team Total Nissan Sentra were still firmly in control of the Group N category and were also into the top ten.
Earlier in the morning Sasol Ford crew Paolo Piazza-Musso and Nic Hadden went off the road in special stage eight with severe suspension damage the end result. Service crew managed to get the car going again but Piazza-Musso/Hadden were eventually time barred.