The SA Earthworks Ford Fiesta R2 pair dominated the Super 1600 front-wheel drive class on the 3rd round of the championship and ended a spectacular 10th overall; the Toyota Gauteng Dealer Rally, which finished outside Pretoria on Sunday, sees Nic van der Westhuizen and Henry Dearlove leap into second place in the championship standings.
Nic van der Westhuizen and Henry Dearlove were in the pound seats from stage two of the nine stage event that ran largely in the farmland around Bapsfontein this past weekend. This was van der Westhuizen’s career first win in just his third national rally and comes off the back of his first major roll on a regional event three weeks ago.
“It’s an awesome feeling – better than I could have imagined it would be’, said the excited young driver. “It was a perfect drive – the one and only corner I messed up on the whole rally was on the SuperSpecial stage where everyone could see it”, he laughed.
The event’s first stage caused chaos as no less than fourteen cars suffered delays with punctures, causing eight retirements including three direct S1600 rivals.
Dearlove said: “We could see from the open section leading to the first stage that the road would be very rocky. We made a decision to drive carefully, but it was still quick enough to finish 2nd fastest in class”. The pair continued unabated, ending day 1 with a defendable lead in 10th overall and a 1 minute 49 second lead in the bag.
Dearlove added: “There’s not a scratch on the car. We’ve bounced back in a big way and Nic drove faultlessly. Our thanks must go to our sponsors for supporting us and Race Prep who for the second time this year, built us a car that ran perfectly”.
The 4th round of the Super 1600 Rally Championship is the Volkswagen Rally on 13th and 14th July.
The SA Earthworks Ford Fiesta R2 is built and maintained by Race Prep in Randburg and enjoys additional support from Construction Tyres, High Power Equipment (HPE) and Shantui.
Issued on behalf of the SA Earthworks Rally Team by Race Prep Motorsport Solutions