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Zimbabwe's Conrad Rautenbach leads SA Rally championship

by Staff reporter
26 Sep 2011 at 14:21hrs | Views
Zimbabwean Conrad Rautenbach and his French co-driver Nicolas Klinger (Ford Fiesta) won the 2011 Toyota Cape Dealer Rally near Cape Town at the weekend and regained the lead in the South African Rally Championship with one round remaining.

In a dramatic final day of the two-day event that started in Table View and ended at the Killarney racing circuit, the Ford privateers completed the 196km of special stages in 1hr39min16.3.

Second was the factory Volkswagen Polo of reigning champions Enzo Kuun and Guy Hodgson, who finished 23sec behind the winning Ford after starting the day ninth and more than a half-minute behind the leaders. Privateers Charl Wilken and Greg Godrich (Fiesta) were thirdn after winning three of the day's stages and finishing 29.6sec in arrears.

Making up the top 10 were Team Total's Jean-Pierre Damseaux and Carolyn Swan (Toyota Auris) in fourth, Hein Lategan and Johan van der Merwe (Peugeot 207) fifth, Leeroy Poulter and Elvene Coetzee (Toyota Auris) sixth, Jon Williams and Cobus Vrey (Fiesta) seventh, Mohammed Moosa and Grant Martin (Auris) eighth, Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton (Fiesta) ninth and Jan Habig and Robert Paisley (Polo) 10th.

Rautenbach had started the day fourth, behind overnight leaders Johnny Gemmell and Drew Sturrock in a factory Auris, Poulter and Coetzee in the second factory Toyota and the Wilken Ford.

Showing his intentions early, Rautenbach won the opening two stages (five and six) and drew level with Gemmell, relegating Poulter to third. Seldom does a manufacturer win the event it sponsors and stage seven set the seal on Toyota's disappointment.

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