BOUND FOR VICTORY: JJ Potgieter and Tommy du Toit splash their way through a puddle in their Hyundai i20. They won Friday’s round 3 of the National Rally Championship

JJ Potgieter and Tommy du Toit stormed to a runaway win in Friday’s round 3 of the National Rally Championship in their four-wheel drive Hyundai i20 in perfect weather conditions, ending their run of six non-finishes in previous rallies through the Longmore Forest outside Jeffreys Bay.

It also puts the pair in a commanding position in the 2023 National Rally Championship with a hat-trick of wins so far.

Main rivals, Jono van Wyk and Nico Swartz retired their Gazoo Toyota Starlet during stage 2 when the engine dropped a valve, forcing them to call it a day along with local heroes Nick Davidson and Ashley Bezuidenhout after their Toyota Auris S2000 overheated.

The Mazda 2 1600 of Chris Coerstse and Greg Godrich developed an intermittent misfire early on in the rally but they managed to bring it home in second place just ahead of a hard-charging Benjamin Habig and Barry White in the giant slaying one-litre VW polo GTI.

In the regional classes, it was the reigning Western Province Rally champions who grabbed a dominant win in their impressive four-wheel drive Subaru Impreza, from Johan Viljoen and Riaan van Huysteen in a VW Polo 250 two litre in second. Third place went to Juan and Tarryn van Rooyen in their Innova-sponsored VW Polo 250 1600.

Round 4 of the rally championship on Saturday saw a storming comeback drive from Jono van Wyk and Nico Swartz after the Gazoo Toyota Team worked until 3 am on Saturday fitting a new motor. They went on to blitz the rest of the field to take the overall win.

An equally impressive performance from Mandla Mdakane and Kes Naidoo secured them the second spot on the podium, giving the Gazoo Toyota Team their first one-two finish in many a year.

Mdakane who swapped his usual GTC circuit racing seat for a rally seat, certainly made the crowd take note of his impressive pace in only his third rally ever. Another consistent performance from the Mazda 2 of Chris Coertse and Greg Godrich saw them finish in third place overall.

Round 4 of the regional rally championship certainly proved to be a rally of attrition with many competitors retiring with mechanical issues, but it was a stunning performance from Jody van Zummeren and James Johnson in a Classic Datsun 510 coupé that triumphed over Juan and Tarryn van Rooyen in second and a brilliant show of consistency from Deon Kretzman and Jason Schrieber in their Toyota Etios in third.

Juan and Tarryn van Rooyen were not only the winners of the Tissot watches sponsored by Gabriels Jewellers at Fountain Malls for their combined performance from both rounds of the Rallies, they also claimed the Algoa Rally Clubs King of the Longmore for setting the fastest stage times in the forest. 

The next round of the National Rally Championship moves to Mpumalanga and will be held in the forests around Tzaneen on August 25 and 26.

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