NAD Rally is raring to put pedal to the metal on this weekend’s Volkswagen Rally, and try go one better than they did a month ago on the Bela Bela round, where Japie van Niekerk and Gerhard Snyman stood on the podium. Third place and their first podium this year was sweet reward for a well-judged rally, and a step up – or hopefully even two – is the objective in the Eastern Cape come Saturday afternoon.
July 17 also sees the National Rally Championship enter its second half, with the first stage of the event underway at 12h24, the crew of the New Africa Developments Ford Fiesta lining up in seventh position and beginning their quest for success at 12h36.
The event, which has its ceremonial start in Uitenhage35 km inland, rapidly moves towards the coast and promises a variety of challenges, including a mixed tarmac/dirt stage at Port Elizabeth’s popular Aldo Scribante circuit – the last of six stages. A further six stages on Saturday July 18 make up the balance of the event.
“This rally hasn’t been kind to us in recent years and our last good finish was in 2009, when we were fifth,” commented Japie van Niekerk. “But we earned our podium place in the dust of Bela Bela and we’re looking forward to the slightly greener pastures of the Cape with confidence. I also reckon we’ve had more than our fair share of bad luck this year, so hopefully the ‘back Nine’ will be kinder to us!”
Van Niekerk will continue with his second car, his first-choice Fiesta still in the United Kingdom undergoing repairs. Alongside him once again is long-time friend and co-driver Gerhard Snyman, who, while absent from the first two rounds of the 2015 championship, has found that his love for the sport and the camaraderie that comes with it made it impossible to stay away.
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