The Volkswagen Sasolracing team heads to KwaZulu-Natal for the first round of the 2013 South African National Rally Championship season. The event takes place on Friday and Saturday, March 8 and 9. This two-day event will see the Volkswagen Sasolracing rally team tackling seven stages on day one and a further nine on the second day, comprising a total event distance of 610 km.
Round one of the season, the Total Rally, is the first outing for the Volkswagen Sasolracing rally team for 2013. The trio of Volkswagen Polos will compete in the S2000 national championship, whilst the Volkswagen Polo Vivo will campaign in the S2000 Challenge. Gugu Zulu and Carl Peskin won the S2000 Challenge class last year with their Volkswagen Polo Vivo S2000 – the inaugural season for this national category.
Enzo Kuun and Guy Hodgson will again pair up and chase the national championship title which they have won twice together in the S2000 category. The pair, which has been together for nearly 15 years has good communication in-car and this experience helps them to maintain a fast pace right from the start.
Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries claimed two consecutive S2000 championships, in 2008 and 2009, and are keen to add another title to their list of achievements this season. The opening round in KZN, with the newly-branded Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo S2000, is the perfect opportunity for them to start the season on a high note.
Newcomers to the Volkswagen Sasolracing rally team this season are Henk Lategan and Barry White. The pair competed together in the S2000 Challenge category last year and move into the top-level S2000 category this year under the Volkswagen Sasolracing banner. White’s experience in motorsport stretches back to the early 80’s and he has been in the navigator’s seat since 1993. Lategan’s youth and relative inexperience in rallying (having started at age 15 and now 18 years of age), is more than balanced by his enthusiasm and obvious talent behind the wheel.
The pair will compete as members of the Volkswagen Sasolracing team for the first time at the KZN event. The 16 challenging stages that lie in wait over the two days will undoubtedly be a tough test for the newest members of the team, one which it is accepted they will handle with aplomb.
“We have a highly skilled and experienced group of people in the Volkswagen SasolRacing rally team,” says Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport. “The perfect balance of technical ability and experience has been combined with talent across an age range that means the Volkswagen SasolRacing team can be successful now and in the future, with our current champions helping to nurture the talent that will emerge in the coming years.
“I am confident that the Volkswagen SasolRacing team will continue to be a dominant force on the South African rally scene – and will be the standard to which every other team will aspire.”