Blue oval fans were given something to cheer about on this weekend Eastern Cape Rally when Etienne Lourens and Elvéne Coetzee steered their Ford Racing Fiesta ST to victory in Class N3.
The event marked round five of this year’s SASOL National Rally Championship. Not only was it the first win for the Fiesta ST since it made its return to rally at the start of the season, but it was Ford’s first in rallying for a number of years. The Ford crew crossed the line in 13th place overall and first in class N3.
“We’ve been saying all along that the Fiesta ST has the pace to win and have been running up in the front from day one,” says Etienne Lourens. “But until this weekend we haven’t had the clean, problem free run that we needed to succeed. Even after some problems with a shock absorber, we were able to pull through and take the win we’ve all been waiting and working for.”
The event proved to be a hit with the Eastern Cape fans. The route saw teams travelling through Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage, Jeffreys Bay and the Longmore Forest. With Ford’s engine plant based in Struandale Port Elizabeth the victory was all the more enjoyable for the team.
“We’re delighted with the win,” adds team manager Roger Rouessart. “Everyone has worked extremely hard, getting the cars where they need to be and this victory is the culmination of those efforts. It was all the more enjoyable being able to celebrate the win with the Ford supporters who are based in the area.”
“With various motor manufacturers having a presence in the Eastern Cape there is a great deal of brand rivalry so we were pleased to be able to fly the flag for the Ford brand,” he adds.
Tony Barbosa and navigator Ian McKenzie in their Class A5 1.3-litre Ford Ka did not have the race they were hoping for after retiring prematurely. They’ll be looking to make amends at the next round of the championship the Osram Rally, to be held in and around Barkly East on 15 and 16 August.
The Team would like to thank all their supporters, sponsors, Chris Theodosiou and the staff of Eastern Cape Motors for their assistance and hospitality.