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Auto Pedigree/Castrol in the lead

2006-10-09 10:58
They led by a comfortable 2 mintues and 13 seconds over Johan van der Merwe/Elvene Coetzee's Team Atsui Toyota Tazz.

"It's brilliant to end the year with such a solid win", said an ecstatic Charl at the Zwartkops Raceway finish. "We were out of the championship before the season started as we got the car late, but our main objective was to give us seat time to fast track our national campaign and that goal has been achieved."

It wasn't all plain sailing for the Auto Pedigree/Castrol team though, as the pair had to contend with brake problems. "The brake bias wasn't set up to my liking and stopping performance was very inconsistent", Charl continued. "Having our Auto Pedigree/Castrol Toyota pretty much perfected gives us a great springboard and loads of confidence for the regional season next year."

With half the rally run on the stunning Gerotek Hillclimb, Charl and Greg remain "Kings of the Mountain". "The Hillclimb is one of the very best rally stages anywhere in the country and resembles a giant roller-coaster ? it's a phenomenal stage'.

Charl and Greg compete in a class A7 factory entered Castrol Toyota RunX RSi in the national rally championship and lead the title chase by 5 points going into the final round in Tzaneen later this month.

The Auto Pedigree/Castrol Toyota RunX made its debut on the 3rd round of the series in Tzaneen, and was quick out of the box. The team led every rally but was thwarted by new car teething problems that kept Charl and Greg off the podium.

Michael Otto and Hannes de Beer (Barloworld Witbank Toyota Tazz) started the Pretoria Rally needing 17 points to snatch the overall crown.

Against the odds they ran out the 2006 Total Northern Regions Rally Champions after the season long favourites, Callie vd Merwe/Vanny Geldenhuys, hit a kerb in stage three and broke their Nissan Exa's suspension. Otto ended 10th overall but crucially, 4th in the class, giving him his much-deserved title after 12 years in the sport.

Dario and Paul Dos Santos brought their CIB Insurance Subaru Impreza Sportwagon home 3rd overall to take the class S5 win, some 32 seconds behind the Team Atsui crew in 2nd place. The second Atsui Tazz entry retired in stage 4 when Ernst Bielfeld/Kobus Jansen went off the road and broke the car's suspension against the side of the mountain.

Danie van Hengel and Paul Bothma won class S3 in their Auto Pedigree/Loden Megavolt Toyota Tazz after a strong performance, finishing 43 seconds ahead of Chad Lambert/Nic Prinsloo in another Toyota Tazz.

Mohammed Moosa/Henry Dearlove clinched the class S5 championship with 6th overall in their Mega Hardware Subaru Impreza. Class title challengers Jose Ferreira/Raymond Heenop retired their Italian Panelbeaters Subaru Impreza with a failed gearbox in stage 3.

The very fast turbo charged SAAB of Michele Lupini/Jesse Adams finished 7th overall and was also the first track racing car home.

Scott Howden/Willie van Straaten brought their Smartcovers Subaru home 8th overall, just 17 seconds ahead of rally debutant, Hannes Visser/André Vermeulen (Star Trek Toyota Tazz). Visser, better known as the TV presenter on Lat? Wiel and the presenter of the Northern regions TV commentator.

Anton Wannenburg/Tania Joubert one of only two teams with a 100% finishing record, brought their Smartcovers Subaru Impreza WRX home 11th overall.

The 2006 production car class B champion Dave Compton put in a good rally debut performance. Teamed with Niel Fourie in Compton's Sasol Toyota RunX RSi, they ended 14th overall but had to stop in stage 4 to secure a loose fuel tank which cost the pair 6 minutes.

The Auto Pedigree/Castrol team will take part in the non-championship Bosal Cars in Action Tarmac Challenge around Gauteng on 1 and 2 December.


Inside Wheels24

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