Cronje and Houghton hold onto their lead In the Polokwane Rally


The Polokwane Rally is nearing the end of the first very hot day in Limpopo with Mark Cronje/Robin Houghton (Sasol Ford Fiesta) defending their lead with three special stages remaining.

Polokwane Rally South Africa

The pair lead Jan Habig/Robert Paisley (Basil Read Ford Fiesta) after five special stages by 26 seconds and Enzo Kuun/Guy Hodgson (BP Volkswagen Polo) by 36 seconds.  BP Volkswagen teammates Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries are fourth ahead of Giniel de Villiers/Celeste Snyders (Imperial Toyota Auris) and Jean-Pierre Damseaux/Grant Martin (Team Total Toyota Auris).

Despite the fact that they are running way behind the leaders in terms of time Leeroy Poulter/Elvéne Coetzee (Castrol Toyota Auris) have won the last two stages demonstrating the pace of the Auris and what might have been.  They picked up nearly three minutes in penalties for lateness as a result of a broken front suspension on the first stage.

Ashley Haigh-Smith/Craig Parry (Castrol Ford Fiesta R2) continue to control the two wheel drive S1600 battle after four stages with a commanding 52 second lead over Tjaart Conradie/Kes Naidoo (Galvadip Toyota Auris) and more than two minutes ahead of Guy Botterill/Simon Vacy-Lyle (Yato Tools Toyota RunX).

Megan Verlaque/Hilton Auffray (BP Volkswagen Polo) have moved up to fourth ahead of Craig Trott/Robbie Coetzee (Team Total Toyota Runx).

It turns out that Cronje’s team made a bad set up choice before the stage four tarmac stage resulting in the race leaders loosing seven seconds to stage winners Kuun/Hodgson on the 2.8 kilometre stage.