Photo: Rajesh Jantilal
The UK’s Ashley Haigh-Smith and Craig Parry
in the crowd-pleasing Super Special Stage of
the Total Rally, held in Durban last night.
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 site of the finish. The crew was dazed and the car is a write-off. Kuun was lying third at the time.
Morne 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 thirty 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 nr 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 with a crowd-pleasing Super Special Stage, held on tar at the old Drive-Inn.
Today’s timed rally is 171 km long, returning to Scottburgh.
The 24 crews whose cars survived yesterday will contend not only with other racers under the influence of red mist, but KZN’s famously slippery and unpredictable dirt roads over 14 gravel stages back to Scottburgh.
The action ends by mid-afternoon today. More details on the stages and spectator maps at www.totalmotorsport.co.za.