The next round of the SASOL National Rally Championship is set to take place in Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage, Jeffreys Bay and the Longmore Forest on Friday and Saturday 11 and 12 July. The Volkswagen Rally in the Eastern Cape is a popular event among the Eastern Cape fans.
The Eastern Cape is also home to Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa’s Struandale Engine Plant and Team Ford Racing is hoping to impress in front of its loyal fans.
“The PE spectators are well known for their enthusiasm of motorsport,” says team manager Roger Rouessart. “With various motor manufacturers having a presence in the Eastern Cape there is a great deal of brand rivalry so we’ll be going all out to fly the flag for the Ford brand.”
The N3 Ford Fiesta ST of Etienne Lourens and Elvéne Coetzee has been threatening to take the number one slot this season however the team have faced various teething problems, which have prevented them from demonstrating the true speed of the Fiesta ST.
“We’ve had to deal with the normal teething problems that come with introducing a new car,” explains Lourens. “We’ve had a bit of a gap between events though giving us the opportunity to focus on developing the car and ironing out those small development niggles.”
Also hoping for a strong outing at PE will be rookie teammates
Martin Steyn and Van Aardt Schoeman in the sister N3 Ford Fiesta ST. “At the previous outing we scored our best result to date bringing the car home in fourth position,” says Steyn. “We certainly had our work cut out for us but it was a good result and we learnt a lot. We’ll be looking to build on our progress even further on the PE event.”
Rounding out the Ford team are Tony Barbosa and navigator Ian McKenzie in their Class A5 1.3-litre Ford Ka. Barbosa and McKenizie will be looking to score a strong result and give the Ford fans something to cheer about.
“It will be the first time the newly formed team will be in action in the Eastern Cape. We expect that there will be a lot of Ford supporters cheering us on and we will be aiming not to impress the fans with some strong performances,” concludes Rouessart.