ROUND three of the South African National Rally Championship will see the Volkswagen Sasolracing rally team contesting the Secunda Motor Rally on Friday and Saturday, 15 and 16 May. Twelve stages lie in wait for the team who have already claimed two podium finishes this season.
Henk Lategan and Barry White were the first of the Volkswagen Sasolracing team to step on to the podium this season – at the Tour Natal, round one for 2015. Most recently it was Gugu Zulu and Pierre Arries who took their place on the podium at the Sasol Rally.
Zulu and Pierre currently lie third overall in the S2000 championship with their Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo S2000.
“The Volkswagen Sasolracing team has made a good start to the opening rounds for the season,” says Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport. “Both Henk and Gugu are showing good pace, with their stage times amongst the leaders – Gugu even won his first stage in the S2000 class at the Sasol Rally.”
For the team the work doesn’t stop and since the Sasol event the workshop has been buzzing in preparation for the third event in the eight-round championship.
From round three there are a few changes to the team for the rest of the season. Pierre Arries will slip into the navigator’s seat alongside Hergen Fekken while Hilton Auffray teams up with Zulu. Both Fekken and Auffray have competed under the VW banner previously and are eager to get back into the national rally action.
“We look forward to welcoming Hergen and Hilton back to the Volkswagen Sasolracing team,” says Rowe. “The pressures of travelling between South Africa and Europe while balancing their business responsibilities have taken their toll on Hans and Björn. They have made a valuable contribution to the team in their time with us and we wish them well as they continue their work.”
As a new event on the national rally calendar, the Secunda Motor Rally is sure to pose its own set of unique challenges to the competitors with the compact layout of the event likely to play a role in the results as well.
With just a small window of opportunity to do some shakedown testing before they tackle the rally, the teams will be relying on good strategy and preparation to ensure they achieve the best results possible at the end of the two day, 185km event that starts at the Graceland Casino on Friday and finishes at Lake Umuzi on Satuday.