Dave Ledbitter
2 minute read
14 Oct 2015
2:00 pm

Battle to the throne at the SA Rally Championship

Dave Ledbitter

High Noon – the final shoot-out. The 2015 SA Rally Championship will reach a thrilling climax this weekend when the two contenders to the crown slug it out for title honours over 10 stages through the Limpopo bushveld.

LEADERS. Mark Cronje and Gerhard Snyman (Ford Performance Fiesta) will be favourites to clinch the 2015 SA Rally championship this weekend. Pictures: Dave Ledbitter

The two contending teams will be Mark Cronje/Gerhard Snyman (Ford Performance Fiesta S2000) and Leeroy Poulter/Elvene Coetzee (Castrol Toyota Yaris S2000). There are many permutations regarding the title outcome, with the possibilty of Cronje becoming champion if he can finish third or higher, no matter where Poulter finishes.

Should Cronje finish fourth or lower, with Poulter winning, Poulter will become champion. Others could interfere with the fight. Sasol VW Polo crew Henk Lategan/Barry White could have the pace to win the event, barring mistakes or breakages, as should Giniel de Villiers/Carolyn Swan (Castrol Toyota Yaris).

Also chasing podium places will be Sasol VW Polo pairings Gugu Zulu/Hilton Auffray and Hergen Fekken/Pierre Arries, plus Thilo Himmel/Armand Du Toit (Genuine Parts VW Polo) and Japie van Niekerk/AN Other (New Africa Ford Fiesta). Rounding out the top class will be Ernie van der Walt/Greg Godrich (Vecto Toyota Yaris).

Three crews will contest the class for older generation S2000 cars, being Piet Bakkes/Shaun Visser (Accident Guru Toyota Auris), Wilro Dippenaar/Kes Naidoo (North City Toyota Auris) and Theuns Joubert/Mari van der Walt (Salom Agri Toyota Auris).

The trio are covered by three points in the championship, with the outcome to be decided this weekend. In the S1600 category, defending champions Guy Botterill/Simon Vacy-Lyle (Yato Tools Toyota Etios) have a healthy lead and need just a sixth place finish to claim back-to-back championships.

Their team-mates, Matthew Vacy-Lyle/Schalk Van Heerden (Fragram Tools Toyota Etios), lie second in the class, comfortably ahead of Paulus Franken/Henry Kohne (Manitou VW Polo R) and Richard Leeke/Rikus Fourie (ATS Ford Fiesta R2).

Others to watch in the class will include AC Potgieter/Tommy Du Toit (RickyB VW Polo R2), Ashley Haigh-Smith/Nial Burns (Castrol Ford Fiesta R2), Marko Himmel/Francois Schoonbee (Genuine Parts VW Polo) and Andrew Heine/Robbie Coetzee (VW Polo).

The Polokwane Motor Rally will be run over a distance of 572km, comprising 10 gravel special stages of 187km and 385km of liaison sections.