Of winners, drifting Datsuns & old dogs

Team acciDent Guru came away from the Toyota Dealers National Rally run at Killarney and then around Malmesbury in the Western Cape smiling like cheshire cats as their cup of fortune flowed healthily over. The four-car team had such a good event that it was still finding out how well it really did later in the week after the rally…

Team leaders Paul Van Wyk and stand-in navigator Divan de Goede did everything they had to to consolidate their overall Western Cape Rally Championship lead by coming in a fine 8th overall in the red acciDent Guru Golf 1 GTi, winning their national NRC2 class and ending fourth overall and third in class in the Cape regional rally results. But they were quite surprised to come home tied in the lead for the NRC2 national championship too…

They were chased home by Etienne Mauritz Malherbe’s perpetually sideways and freshly rebuilt acciDent Guru Datsun in ninth overall and second in 2nd NRC2, while teammates Piet Bakkes and Shaun Visser brought the silver acciDent Guru Golf home 12th overall and fourth in NRC2 and 8th overall & 5th in class S3 in the regional competition.

Team acciDent Guru has also adopted a couple of old dogs in the so-called Tarmac Terrorist Ian Long and Killarney Policeman Brian Hoskins, who brought their white S2 class Golf 1 GTi home in a splendid 6th overall & first in class as they moved into third overall in the regional championship, where they now hold a significant title lead in class S2.

“We had a great event,” Paul van Wyk explained after the rally. “The car ran faultlessly all weekend - we took it easy on Friday  but I still enjoyed the tar — especially my trademark trick handbrake turns. “We struggled on Saturday’s first wet stage — it was slippery as hell, but it dried out nicely and we improved the pace with every stage after that.

“We had a few moments especially when trying to overtake the tail happy Malherbe Datsun on Stage 11 after they lost some time, but we came home still leading the WP championship overall but only with 5 points, although we have significant lead in class S3. “What we never expected was to end up tied in the national NRC2 lead — now we need to go to Delmas for the final to clinch that title, but I still need to tell my wife!”

“We had a few issues on the newly rebuilt car,” Etienne Malherbe reported of the Datsun. “We missed the recce to sort the handling but we set very good times on the tar on Friday despite a nice sideways overshoot! “Saturday went well and were leading NRC2 comfortably, but a slow puncture and a bent tie rod cost us time and that let Paul pass us to repay us for beating him here last year!”

Piet Bakkes struggled with his silver car’s handling. “We adjusted the shock settings midday Saturday and I was happier after that, but we broke the steering yoke and limped out of a stage, losing five minutes in the process. “We had a fairly good rally all considered.”

The Geriatric Golf ran very well as spokesman Hoskins explains: “We had no issues except for a slow puncture on the first tar stage —  the Tarmac Terrorist drove like a madman and posted some incredibly quick times. ”Saturday was good too — we were hitting the limiter in 6th gear on Stages 9 and 10, but we got through and we are delighted with the result.”

Killarney’s All Tar Rally season finale is next up for Team acciDent Guru, but Paul van Wyk and Divan de Goede are planning to go up to the national final in search of that unlikely NRC2 title. If the missus approves, that is!