Guy Hodgson, a stalwart of the Volkswagen rally team has decided to take a step back from the limelight of the national rally stage. Hodgson, a navigator who has achieved national and provincial colours in the sport, has been in the seat alongside Enzo Kuun for 15 years, many of these under the Volkswagen banner.
“Motorsport, and rallying specifically, is more than a sport,” says Hodgson. “It is my passion and I have been privileged to share that passion both in South Africa and internationally. I believe that along with the passion for rallying comes a responsibility to step off the stage when the time comes.”
While Hodgson has chosen to retire from the navigator’s seat, his involvement in rallying will not stop – and already his calendar is being organised for his role in the Volkswagen Sasolracing team.
“Guy is a valuable member of the rally team,” says Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport. “While he retires from active duty as a navigator, we are unwilling to squander his years of experience and will be putting that to use in the future.”
“The role a navigator plays on the stages is crucial, their responsibility extends far beyond calling instructions,” says Rowe. “Guy is a highly talented navigator, one of the few to have set the standard for future generations – who will do well by following the example.”
Hodgson has won a number of national championship titles with Kuun, and also achieved Springbok colours in 1987 when he won the Tulip Rally navigating for Dutch driver John Bosch in an Audi A2 quattro.
“The Tulip Rally was one of the biggest rallies in the world,” says Hodgson. “Rally teams well know the tulip which they often refer to in their rally notes and route schedules. The Tulip Rally is where the reference to the tulip originates.”
For Hodgson, one of his first duties for the Volkswagen Sasolracing team is to ensure a smooth transition to a new navigator for Kuun. In future the seat in Kuun’s car will be filled by Douglas Judd. Judd is no stranger to the team, but Hodgson’s role will be to ensure that the pair get up to speed and communicate effectively in the shortest possible time.
“The relationship between and driver and navigator goes far beyond being members of the same team,” says Kuun. “There is a bond of trust that develops after years of competition, success and tense moments in the car. Guy could always defuse the tension with his quick wit and sense of humour. This kept us on track and focused on what we had to do.”
Hodgson will be working with Kuun and Judd in coming events, helping them build the relationship that will make their partnership a success on the national rally scene.