Hutchison, in only his fifth event with seasoned co-driver Greg Gericke, looked set for an excellent second place in class on the fast and demanding Osram Rally at the weekend, when their efforts were thwarted by a broken fuel pressure regulator on their Motorite Racing Toyota RunX.
“We had completed the first day of the rally, which included four special stages over a racing distance of about 83 km, in second place despite being slowed considerably by a broken shock absorber within the first kilometre of stage two,” said Hutchison. “As luck would have it, stages two, three and four ran without any service points between them, so we had no chance to fix the problem. We lost the best part of two minutes.
“Several of our rivals in class A7 had problems and dropped out, so Greg and I were eyeing a good finish and important championship points when we left the start in Barkly East on Saturday morning. But it was not to be. We smelt petrol fumes on the third stage of the morning (special stage seven) and were then forced to a standstill when all the fuel ran out.
“It was very disappointing, as we had an excellent chance of finishing second in class and gaining valuable championship points. There were only two finishers in our class.
“Now we must regroup for the final two rounds of the championship. As I’ve said before, rallying is very different to off road racing and requires different techniques. I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far as a driver and particularly pleased with the excellent working relationship with Greg. He’s a top class co-driver and has helped me a lot to adapt to rally driving.
“We have a good car and we’ll be taking special care to prepare it well for the next event, the Swartland Rally in the Western Cape on September 19 and 20.” Current national off road special vehicle drivers’ champion Evan Hutchison’s best efforts to break into the top echelon of class A7 national championship rallying continue to be hampered by ill luck.
Motorite Racing is the motor sport division of Motorite Insurance Administrators, the largest independent mechanical breakdown insurance and full maintenance plan service provider and administrator in South Africa.