Team puts two cars in Caledon Rally top 10
Cape Town’s acciDent Guru rally team came back happy after getting two of its three cars into the top ten in the recent Caledon Rally in a fitting tribute to two of the team’s technicians who recently passed away. Paul van Wyk and Ewee Badenhorst overcame a rally long battle to end up ninth overall, just seven seconds clear of the similar albeit smaller class acciDent Guru VW Golf of Tiaan Rabe and JP Jacobs, after Piet Bakkes and Terry Illman’s third car dropped out of contention on Saturday morning.
“First and foremost, we would like to once again reflect on the recent tragic passing of Team acciDent Guru’s chief technician Darren Bosman and Darren’s mentor and our previous race technician Brenton Crow losing his life shortly thereafter,” team manager and lead driver Paul van Wyk explained. “That double tragedy has hit us very hard — we contemplated not racing, but in the end the team decided to compete in the Caledon Rally in honor of Darren and Brenton.
“Our cars carried messages in our friends’ honour and we are very happy with the excellent results achieved to allow us to dedicate our 2017 Caledon Rally trophies to Darren and Brentons’ memories.”
The team enjoyed a positive weekend, commencing Friday afternoon as the rally proper started after a bit of rain fall in Caledon, which helped keep the dust at bay through the first 4 stages, two of which were run in the dark. The three acciDent Guru cars within seconds off each other in 17th, 18th and 19th by the end of the day with Paul and Erwee ahead Tiaan and JP and Piet and Terry next up and the trio split by just 16 seconds — an excellent result considering the 38 car field.
Saturday saw teams tackle eight special stages, with all three acciDent Guru cars once again running well and on pace over the long day’s first three stages. Sadly Piet Bakkes and Terry Illman’s car suffered an electrical fire that forced them to stop in the stage, but the acciDent Guru Golfs are fitted with back-up coil packs and they could continue after losing around 6 minutes. Their rally however ended with a Stage 9 driveshaft failure after a heavy landing.
That left acciDent Guru’s number 469 and 404 Golfs fighting it out, swapping best stage times throughout the day. Paul and Erwee took 3 seconds off Tiaan and JP in Stage 9, before the latter pair took 6 seconds back in the 10th stage. Paul and Erwee pushed hard but could only take four seconds back to leave the acciDent Guru Golfs separated by just 10 seconds after two days of flat out rallying and only 20km left to run.
Tiaan and JP pushed especially hard on that last stage and despite a flat wheel on the last few kilometres, they took back another three seconds, to end up just 7 seconds behind their teammates. “What an awesome battle!” van Wyk admitted at the finish. “Especially impressive is the fact that Tiaan drives a 1.6-litre class S2 Golf versus our 2-litre S3 version, so hats off to him on a giant-killing performance!
“We finished 9th overall and 3rd in the National Open class, while Tiaan finished right behind us in 10th overall and 4th in class — Team acciDent Guru is extremely happy with this result, which once again proves that meticulous car preparation is key in rallying — a fact further emphasized by Johnny Gemmel and Carl Peskins’ awesome Porsche that won the rally.
“Caledon offered some of the best and fastest roads in national rallying, but it was tough — only 15 cars managed to finish. “We were also very happy that our handling problems seem to have been solved — the acciDent Guru cars were stable and competitive on the extremely high speeds reached on the Overberg Grand Prix stages.
“Team acciDent Guru needs to salute our support team — our usual Killarney Track Racing suspects, Shatterfix Racing’s Sakkie van Zyl and young race technicians Dawie Prins and Rikus van Zyl, as well as Danie van Niekerk and Ernest Roos from Van Niekerk Racing and Seven Stars Energy Drinks, who all did a stellar job on all fronts throughout the weekend. “Their efforts truly impressed our visiting Gauteng co-drivers, Erwee and Terry.
“We also need to congratulate Rikus Fourie and Kes Naidoo and their respective teams for all the hard work that was put into making the Caledon Rally the success it was and we would like to thank the officials and marshals for a well planned and finely executed event. “Team acciDent Guru is of the opinion that Rallying is slowly getting back to its roots, which is perhaps the best news of all!”