Enzo Kuun and Guy Hodgson won the 6th round (of 8 events) of the Sasol SA Rally Championship by dominating the Osram Mountain Trial from start to finish over the unique 1 day, 200 km rally held around Aliwal North and Barkly East this past Saturday, to spice up the overall chase for 2004 honours. -

- Driving their factory-entered class A8 BP Volkswagen Golf, Kuun and Hodgson beat their teammates Jan Habig/Douglas Judd by 23 seconds, winning four stages to Habig’s two en route to claiming their first victory of the year. Kuun and Hodgson saw a reversal of their previously bad luck this season, for they ran a downhill mountain pass stage without brakes, before hitting a rock which destroyed a rim, yet didn’t cause a puncture. -

- Habig had his fair share of drama as the Golf broke a lower control arm right at the end of stage five. Suitably repaired, a bonnet securing pin came loose, leaving the left corner of the bonnet flapping in the wind. This caused a distraction to the focussed driver and acted as an airbrake, and caused the former championship pairing to lose further time. -

- Current SA rally champions, Serge Damseaux and Robert Paisley ended third overall in their Team Castrol Toyota RunX RSi. The Toyota pairing had a fright when they emerged from stage three to find no service van, which had rolled on the way to the service area, fortunately without injury to the technicians inside. Hasty arrangements were made to send another service crew to replenish tyres and fuel before the start of stage 4. -

- Damseaux, never more than a few seconds adrift of the BP Golfs in the first half of the event, lost 40 seconds in stage five when his bonnet flew open after a last minute check before tackling the stage. Damseaux also averaged the highest speed attained on the event, averaging the stage at a fraction over 130km/h…-

- Last year’s winners Etienne Lourens/Andre Vermeulen ended 4th this time out in their Team Total Toyota RunX RSi after a clean run, ahead of the class A7 winners, Hergen Fekken/Dave Lewkowicz in their BP Volkswagen Polo. The Osram Mountain Trial was the pairing’s first finish in their new car, which made its debut back in April. Class rivals JP Damseaux/Cobus Vrey (Team Total Toyota Corolla) ended 11th after suffering from a damaged 3rd gear, which cost 27 minutes of service lateness and incurred the Cape-based duo a 4 minute penalty, but they stay in the class championship hunt. -

- Tony Ball/Alec Harris drove their class A7 BP Bulwer Park Volkswagen Polo Playa to a finish, while the similar NetConnect Polo of Adrian Karth/Rikus Fourie retired with sheared wheel studs. -

- Cliff Blackman and Johan Klaasen equalled their best ever finish in the class A8 Topcar Bosch BMW with 6th overall, the result of refined gear ratios. -

- Schalk Burger and Vito Bonafede took their Bridgestone Sasol Subaru Impreza WRX to an untroubled Production Car and class N4 victory after their main championship rivals Johnny Gemmell/Greg Godrich withdrew just before the event in their L& J Plant Services Sasol Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7. -

- With stages running at an average of 1880 metres above sea level, all the turbocharged, four-wheel drive cars were hampered by their machines’ lack of ability to take in enough of the thinner air through their mandatory 32mm restrictors, which kept the N4 cars lower down the running order than usual. -

- Eighth place went to Mally Saville/Dean Redelinghuys in their Auto Services Subaru Impreza WRX STi, their best-ever national result. Saville’s team was forced to service their vehicle from the back of a station wagon after their service van broke down 10km out of Aliwal North on the way to the first stage. -

- Craig Trott/John Costa (Team Total Toyota Corolla) took the class A6 championship lead after a fine 9th overall and first in class. The season long class A6 championship leaders prior to the Osram Mountain Trial, Jakkie Joubert Joubert/Willie van Straaten rolled their JoJo Tanks Toyota Corolla in stage 6 when the driver couldn’t select a gear to slow the car down after a long downhill section. -

- The frantic class N3 championship battle, tied between the Team Castrol Toyota RunX RSi entry of Charl Wilken/Robin Houghton and the similar Team Total RunX of Rodney Visagie/Carolyn Swan, swung in Wilken’s favour after winning the class and taking a 3-point championship lead. -

- Visagie lost 50 seconds in the first stage when a misfire set in, but not before they clawed their way back to within 12 seconds of Wilken. The factory Castrol Toyota pairing upped their pace and ended nearly a minute ahead of their rivals by the time the rally returned to Aliwal North, with Visagie and Swan claiming 12th overall. -

- The Bosal Brospeed Ford Focus ST170 of Jacques Botha/Greg Gericke sadly (again) retired with suspension problems. Nicholas Ryan and Brian Carrihill managed to cling on to their tenuous 2nd place in the Production Car and class N4 title fight with a 13th place overall finish and third in class. -

- Team Total’s Chris de Wit/Patrick Yende claimed class N2 honours in their Toyota Corolla ahead of Capetonians Jon/Douglas Williams in their similar Trident Press Corolla. -

- Allen Worms/Ciaran Nunan scored their maiden class A5 victory, driving their Lessan Engineering Toyota Tazz. Gugu Zulu/Llewellyn Fourie set the class pace for all of the event in their Sasol-backed Volkswagen Chico, before a driveshaft failed with just two kilometres of the event to run, and were classified a disappointed 23rd overall and 3rd in class. -

- Dolf Coetzee/Irma du Plooy (Toyota Tazz) ended in the class A5 runner up position, while the current class leaders Nkosinathi Nzimande/Derek Jacobs endured a fraught event in their BP Volkswagen Chico, which included losing 5 minutes in stage 2 with a broken throttle linkage and a further 8 minutes in stage 4 with a flat tyre. -

- Gary Swemmer/Peter Davison (Riken Volkswagen Chico) won class N1 ahead of Pedro van der Walt/Pierre Jordaan, after the class leaders Eugene Lourens/Janine Labuschagne (Hitachi Toyota Tazz) lost 4 minutes with a puncture in stage 4. -

- Lola and Megan Verlaque ended a disappointed 17th overall in their Sasol Rally Chicks Subaru Impreza WRX after hitting a concrete block in stage 4, which broke a lower control arm and affected the car’s handling for the rest of the event. -

- Visser du Plessis/Thilo von Westernhagen (Metmeister Outsurance Impreza WRX STi) ended 18th overall after losing 6 minutes attending to two punctures along the route. -

- The final finisher in 29th place (out of 36 starters) was the Sasol Subaru Impreza WRX of Barry Grobbelaar/Mike Burrows, who lost 36 minutes to the class N4 runners with an electrical problem. Once traced and repaired the Pretoria-based duo were able to finish their first event of the year, putting in a very impressive showing before their “dramas”. -

- The Osram Mountain Trial will first be broadcast on Supersport 2 on Saturday (21 August) at 19h00, with further highlights on SABC 3’s “Sasol Rally Scene” at approximately 15h00 on 29 August. -

- The 7th and penultimate round of the Sasol SA Rally Championship is the Subaru Cape Rally, to be held in the west coast region of the Western cape on 17 and 18 September. For more information on Osram Mountain Trial or any aspect of the Sasol SA Rally Championship 2004, log on to www.sasolracing.co.za or call 08-22-33-4321