Drivers go cane ploughing in KZN rally

2013-03-09 00:00

IN a rally full of drama and sportmanship yesterday, champion drivers Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton stopped to help Johnny Gemmel and Carolyn Swan, who had done some alarming cane harvesting using their Castrol Toyota Auris.

This just after Enzo Kuun and Guy Hodgson had rolled in their Sasol Polo in the third stage of the Total Rally, which started in Scottburgh and ended in Durban.

They crashed out of the event on stage three in spectacular fashion within sight of the finish. The crew were dazed and the car is a write-off. Kuun was lying third at the time.

Morné Janse van Rensburg and Rickus Foure also “went surgarcane farming” in their Polo on the second corner of the stage, according to a tweet by Fourie.

The crashes show just how hard the other teams are racing to try and unseat Cronje and Houghton this year.

Luckily, none of the drivers who made unplanned safaris in the canefields were injured. The various crashes, however, saw stages 4 and 6 cancelled and, of the 30 crews who departed to Durban yesterday, six did not start this morning.

Finishing a surprising third place yesterday was matriculant Henk Lategan. At 18, Lategan is the youngest driver yet in SA rallying. He is racing in Sasol VW car number 17, with veteran navigator Barry White.

In car No. 314, S20, privateers from Pietermaritzburg, Thane Archer and Frans de Wit, aim to have a blast with the big guns from out of town.

Yesterday’s racing culminated in a crowd-pleasing Super Special Stage, held on tar at the old drive-in cinema.

Today’s timed rally is 171 km, returning to Scottburgh.

The 24 crews whose cars survived yesterday will contend not only with other racers under the influence of “red mist”, but also KZN’s famously slippery and unpredictable dirt roads over 14 gravel stages back to Scottburgh.

The action ends by mid-afternoon. Details of the stages and spectator maps at www.totalmotorsport.co.za.

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