The inaugural Bosal Cars in Action Tarmac Challenge got off to a flying start when 47 rally, circuit and off road racing cars came under starters orders at Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria today.
Skilful driving saw reigning Northern Regions Rally Champions Charl Wilken and Greg Godrich complete eight laps of the circuit in a stage winning time of 10m 44s in the Auto Pedigree / Castrol Toyota Conquest 1600. The pair will start tomorrow’s second special stage at Zwartkops Raceway with an eight second advantage over Ettienne Lourens and Andre Vermeulen in the Team Total Toyota RunX.
Frans Pretorius and Francois Pretorius put on a high-speed display in the full race Porsche to record the third fastest time followed by Cars in Action publisher and last year’s SCC All Tar Rally winner Michele Lupini who had his hands full in the 320kW Saab. He and co-driver Dave McGregor will start 17 seconds behind the leaders in the morning.
Fifth fastest were Hergen Fekken and Neil Fourie in the BP Volkswagen Polo in which they contested this year’s Sasol Rally Championship.
Newly crowned Absa Off Road Production Vehicle Drivers Champion Hannes Grobler and co-driver Francois Jordaan, who normally co-drives for Giniel de Villiers in the Proudly South African Nissan Hardbody, struggled with chronic under steer on their Nissan Hardbody and had to settle for the fifth quickest time of 11m 05s.
Japie van der Merwe and Mark Boekee’s run in the New Africa Property Developments Subaru Imprezza came to a premature end when the engine failed while off road racing exponents Henri Zermatten and Bodo Schwegler retired with a broken clutch on the Master Craft / Playstation Pajero. Both crews will be permitted to start tomorrow if they are able to repair their vehicles overnight.
Special Stage 1:
1 Charl Wilken / Greg Godrich - Toyota (10:44)
2 Ettiene Lourens / Andre Vermeulen - Toyota (10:52)
3 Frans Pretorius / Francois Pretorius - Porsche (11:00)
4 Michele Lupini / Dave McGregor - Saab (11:01)
5 Hergen Fekken / Neil Fourie - VW (11:02)
6 Hannes Grobler / Francois Jordaan - Nissan (11:05)
7 Brian Martin / Trevor Graham - Toyota (11:17)
8 Pierre Bester / Llewelyn Fourie - VW (11:22)
9 Peter Viljoen / Alastair Murray - Mercedes (11:28)
10 Vaughn Williams / Mike Segalla - Mercedes (11:31)
Danie v Hengel / Paul Bothma - Toyota (11:31)
The route for tomorrow’s leg of the Bosal Cars in Action Tarmac Challenge includes an 18,54km special stage at Zwartkops Raceway at 06h38 followed by four special stages commencing at 08h00 at the Gerotek situated West of Pretoria and a final special stage at Zwartkops Raceway at 15h00.