Multiple South African Rally Champion, Jan Habig, leaves for the United Kingdom today (Wednesday 5 September), where he will compete in the Wales Rally Great Britain, the 10th round of the World Rally Championship. Habig will be competing in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC car. His navigator will be Robbie Durant. The event runs from 13 to 16 September.
The 32-year old Durant from Oxfordshire in England is a full time professional navigator that has navigated in a variety of rallies including the rallies that make up the United States Rally Championship. He is currently also navigating for Harry Hunt in the Intercontinental Rally Championship.
Habig will be competing the Wales Rally GB two years short of the first time that he and his then co-driver, Douglas Judd competed in the Q Network Rally Of Great Britain in a Ford Escort that Habig built himself. On that occasion he found himself in the same team as the rally great Ari Vatanen and his co-driver, Tina Thörner.
Habig and Judd surprised everybody by finishing the event in 8th place overall with the first seven places being taken by works entries driven mostly by former WRC champions. That event was won by the British rally icon, Colin McCrae.
Habig will be supported on the rally by a team from his sponsor, Basil Read, and he is looking forward to renew his acquaintance with the rally that has been part of the World Rally Championship since the inception of the WRC in 1973. The only other rally that can boast to have been part of the WRC since 1973 is the very popular Rally Finland.
The Wales Rally GB will start in Llandudno on the Wales North Coast this year and finish in Cardiff Bay. The rally will consist of 21 special stages of about 400stage kilometers in length.
Habig said that the opportunity to compete on the world stage again at this stage of his career was an opportunity that he just could not say no to. “I am excited about the prospect to compete against and meet up with the top rally drivers in the world and look forward to the challenge of the Wales forests that can be very daunting”.
As a result of his UK adventure, Habig will have to sit out the Toyota Cape Dealer Rally since the dates clash. Habig and his co-driver, Robert Paisley, are currently third overall in the SA Championship competition.
Rally of Great Britain was first held in 1932 and is one of the oldest running rallying events in the world. The list of winners on the Rally of Great Britain reads like a who’s Who of world rallying.