This weekend’s final round of the 2018 SA Rally Championship has all the ingredients of a thriller.
Race partners Guy Botterill and Simon Vacy Lyle in the Toyota Gazoo Etios R2 and AC Potgieter and Nico Swartz in the Lake Umuzi VW Polo R2 will head to Ermelo on Friday tied on points.
The rally’s 145.9km of gravel racing stands between above race partners scooping up the year’s overall title.
Whoever finishes ahead of the other will walk away with the coveted crown. Botterill has taken his Toyota to four victories this year but has been hampered by gearbox problems and rolled out of the last event in Secunda.
Potgieter, who could become the youngest ever rally champion, has finished every round of the series in his Volkswagen and he won the Secunda Rally last month.
The fight for third in the championship will see five teams separated by just five points.
Tjaart Conradie and Kes Naidoo (Silverton Engineering Toyota Etios R2) have scored points in every round to date.
They are one point ahead of Chris Coertse/Greg Godrich (Electrothread Mazda2 R2) and Mathew Vacy Lyle-Matt Kohler (Yato Tools Etios R2).
Two points further back is Richard Leeke/Elvene Vonk (Speedglas Ford Fiesta R2). They are a point ahead of JJ Potgieter/ Tommy du Toit (Vecto Ford Fiesta R2).
Able to upset the championship chase will be entries from Namibians Marko Himmel/Francois Schoonbee (VW Polo R2), Thilo Himmel-Armand du Toit (Toyota Etios R2) and Clint Weston/AN Other (Citroen C2 R2).
Jono van Wyk/Barry White in their Swazi Cowboy Ford Fiesta R2 could spring a surprise while George Smalberger-Carolyn Swan (Shield VW Polo R2) will be looking to end their season on a high note.
The 25-car strong entry list includes four classic rally cars and 10 regional entries.
- The Ermelo Rally will start on Friday at 1pm from the Ermelo Showgrounds.
- Crews will tackle five special stages, including a short tarmac stage in town at 6.17pm.
- Saturday’s action will feature 10 speed tests, starting with a town stage at 7am.
- The first car is due at the finish at 3.44pm.