9 October 2013

Namibia: Cornellissen and Gous Ride to Victory At the Cymot Rally

The world of motorsport holds more to it then what is reflected in the results as teams have to overcome challenges, mechanical breakdowns and penalties to reach their goals.

Comprising thirteen special stages over a distance of 107,55km and a total distance of 236,23km, the Cymot Rally Windhoek represented excellent spectator value as no less than five stages were scheduled at the Tony Rust Raceway, currently in phase one of a N$500 000 resurfacing project.

Dubbed the spectator stage, this past weekend was a rally fan's dream, with the best local drivers pushing their vehicles past the limit at the hot Tony Rust rally track. As expected, the Cymot/ Ricoh / The Market Place S4 Subaru WRX 4x4 Turbo of Windhoek Motor Club members, Dick Cornelissen and Melvin Gous, took overall honours on their home event.

It was clear that the Cornelissen/ Gous partnership meant serious business with possibly their best drive to date. Allan Martin and Berto Mostert in their J&P Hydraulic S3 VW Polo 4x4 secured their first title with a fine second place finish overall.

The challenging Windhoek circuit was packed with spectators for the two stages on Friday evening. Tinus Malan and Rian Viljoen were back in their attractive Aris Plant Hire S2 Toyota MR2 2.0 16v but it was clear the car had certainly seen extensive changes. Straining up the hill after the start of SS1 turned out to be a forgotten handbrake rather than engine maladies. Jannie and George Coetzee were the two triers of the Namibian championship and their S2 Ford Focus ST 2.0 16v looked good at the start. Cecil Koortz and Oscar Schoombee rolled heavily at this event in 2012 but they started confidently in their neatly rebuilt JCB / HME Transport S2 Toyota Run X RSi 1.8 16v.

Heino Siemens and Jacques Kruger were something of an unknown quantity in their Auto Perfect S4 Subaru Impreza 4x4 Turbo whilst the presence of Riaan and Maretha Olivier in the blue Select Cars S4 Subaru Impreza 4x4 Turbo attracted much attention after a strong showing in Tsumeb.

Stephanie Botha and Willem Hugo proved to be truly impressive in recent events but suffered the consequences of unforced errors in their Griffin Mines S3 (S2000 Challenge in SA) Toyota Run X 4x4. Allan Martin and Berto Mostert had their J&P Hydraulics S3 (S2000 Challenge in SA) VW Polo 4x4 completely refreshed since Tsumeb and found themselves doubting whether they should go for broke or points. The Total Evolution / PZN Panelshop S3 (S2000 Challenge) Toyota Run X 4x4 of Wilro Dippenaar and Kesevan Naidoo enjoyed serious attention until shortly before the start when their new engine arrived rather late. Supporting the theory that the top three teams were not going to settle for minor placings the S4 Subaru WRX Turbo 4x4 of Cornelissen and Gous also enjoyed close attention from Pro-Drive. Wilro Dippenaar and Kesevan Naidoo were however forced to call it a day when the pilot shaft on the 30km old gearbox of their Total Evolution / PZN Panelshop S3 Toyota Run X 4x4 failed en route to the start of SS2. Their championship aspirations were ruined.

The Ford Courier of Marius van Zyl and Dirk Jansen van Vuuren also retired with a box full of neutrals and the class leading Conquest of Zander Wiese and Eugene Viviers munched a gear too many.

A determined Stephanie Botha was the overall leader of the event. Sadly the twenty second lead she had so thoroughly deserved after three stages became twelfth overall when their out- of -sequence start resulted in a four minute early penalty. Cornelissen and Gous started day two as the overall leaders with Allan Martin and Berto Mostert quite content to focus on set-up and points rather than chase after the pink bolt of lightning. Despite having lost the opportunity to be the first lady driver to lead a Namibian national rally, there was little doubt that Stephanie Botha and Willem Hugo would not be holding back and it was no surprise to see them back in third place overall after just six stages.

A broken steering arm on SS7 finally brought another impressive drive to an end. Cymot announced their continued support of this event in 2014 in association with supporting sponsors Ate, Moto Part, Monroe Racing, Ferodo, Fram, Hella, Champion, Evans, NGK, Ram and Luk.

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