Brian Joss –
The Tshwane Motor Rally, round six of the National Rally Championship (NRC) saw Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries on the podium – their first for the season and achieved in only their fourth rally together. Additionally, the Manufacturer’s Award was claimed by Volkswagen and Gugu Zulu and Hilton Auffray finished in the top five.
“We have had a solid event,” says Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport. “We have good results from Hergen and Pierre, had numerous stage wins with Henk and Barry and also good times from Gugu and Hilton. All in all, this is a good result for the Volkswagen Sasolracing team.”
Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries rallied to third place overall in the two-day event, making this the first podium Fekken has achieved in a left-hand drive Volkswagen Polo S2000. The pair only joined forces in the third round of the season, having shown good progress and have now scored the first of the podiums they have been aiming for.
“It is great for the team to achieve another podium and it is good to be back there,” says Hergen. “Now we just need to go a step better at a time as we strive to improve with every event.”
Fekken and Arries put in a consistent performance throughout the event as they chased the result they wanted – starting with fourth position after day one, then stepping up to their podium finish.
Gugu Zulu and Hilton Auffray brought their Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo S2000 home for fourth place overall, their fourth top five finish this season.
“The rally was a good event,” says Zulu. “As the first car on the road on Friday, this cost us time sweeping the stages for the rest of the field. We started well on Saturday and got better during the day. It has been a solid rally weekend, but I’m looking to the Western Cape to help us deliver another good result.”
For Henk Lategan and Barry White the first three stages on Friday saw them amongst the frontrunners. The pair damaged their Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo S2000 on a concrete block during stage three and they decided to stop rather than risk engine damage.
“On the open section after stage three we realised the car was leaking oil,” says Lategan. “We opted to stop to avoid engine damage rather than pushing through the final stage. Instead we did Super Rally on Saturday, winning three stages and climbing from 23 overnight to finish eighth overall for the event.”
In addition to the podium, fourth overall and Lategan and White’s fight to finish in eighth spot, the Manufacturer Award was also won by Volkswagen, scoring the most points for the event overall.