The 12th instalment of the Sasol Rally this weekend has seen Enzo Kuun prevail in his Sasol sponsored Volkswagen Golf, again, beating rough special stages and a determined challenge first from teammate Jan Habig, and then Schalk Burger and Etienne Lourens. The latter finished 2nd overall, with Burger 3rd. Fernando Rueda finished 4th overall, overhauling Burger and Lourens in the process. The win means Kuun has successfully defended last year's win, leading a clean sweep of the podium for the Sasol DualFuel Volkswagen Team. -

- While Serge Damseaux started off on a stronger note, Kuun and Habig made it clear from the start that the Toyota man's days of blazing a trail ahead of his rivals were practically over. Not only did they keep pace with him on the first three stages, they were always within striking distance but were more than happy to stay there with most of the competitive distance going to be run on Saturday. It was a trick that paid off, as Damseaux had to retire on Stage 4 plagued by engine problems. Kuun and navigator Guy Hodgson then took over the lead and did not look back until the end of the rally. -

- Until Habig's retirement however, victory was never assured, as there was always a lingering feeling that Habig, in a theoretically equal car could overhaul his teammate at any point on Day 2. The gap could have been 11sec less, but for a 10sec lateness penalty Habig incurred. The defending champion went into the overnight stop 21sec behind Kuun, a minor deficit considering the length of the total stage distance remaining. Veteran Schalk Burger was third in a Subaru Impreza with Fernando Rueda, Etienne Lourens and Hergen Fekken taking the remaining top six overnight places. -

- A promising Day 2 for Habig ended abruptly when he went off the road on Stage 10. "I was pushing too hard and misread the situation. The car went off the road and we could not bring it back onto the road and had to retire. It was disappointing, as we were looking good up to that point. The Sasol Rally is one of my favourite events and I wanted to do well after the disappointment of last year. The one positive aspect though is that a Sasol DualFuel Volkswagen Golf ended on the winners' rostrum, which is good both for Volkswagen and the sponsors Sasol," said Habig. -

- Kuun prevailed in rough and challenging conditions, which saw more than one entrant suffering from tyres ripped apart by large sharp stones, which littered the early stages. "It was all the more reason to be cautious as the car can get terminal damage early on, putting paid to any chances of an overall win. Easing off when pitted against quick drivers like Serge Damseaux is hair-raising however as you can't give him too much space. We had to calculate every move down to a tee, and it worked," said Kuun. The computer's logged data makes Kuun's statement and overall performance all the more incredible however as it indicated a top speed of 200km/h on the steep uphill Long Tom Pass special stage. That is an incline that rises more than 300m in just over 4km. The data is more indication that the horsepower is back for the Golfs, which were severely under-powered earlier in the season which gave Damseaux the break he needed to establish a strong lead in the championship. -

- Hergen Fekken had probably the most heartache of all, as his DualFuel Polo Playa's engine gave in on the penultimate stage when he was looking good for a podium finish. Polo Playa teammate Tjaart van der Walt's miserable run of luck continued as he retired on Stage 2, with engine trouble as well. -

- The Sasol Volkswagen Junior Team of Gugulethu Zulu and Dave McGregor put up another winning stellar performance in Class A5. This was their second successive class win. An elated Gugu could not contain himself as he punched the air in joy at the podium. "Two class wins from Volkswagen must have the sponsors happy. It could have been a lot better had Hergen not had to retire but that's rallying. Dave and I are building up a nice momentum at the moment and we are more than looking forward to the Volkswagen Rally in a month's time. The disappointments that came with the steep learning curve last year and earlier this season are paying dividends," said the dred-locked former V8 driver. -

- This was Kuun's fourth Sasol Rally victory and the fourth in a row for Team Sasol Volkswagen. -

- Overall results: 1. 1. Enzo Kuun & Guy Hodgson - Sasol DualFuel Volkswagen Golf - Class A8-

- 2. 2. Etienne Lourens & Andre Vermeulen - Team Total Toyota Corolla Rsi -Class A7-

- 3. 3. Schalk Burger & Vito Bonafede - Subaru Impreza Sti - Class N4-

- 4. 4. Fernando Rueda & Piet Swanepoel - Sasol DualFuel Mitsubishi Lancer Evo - Class N4-


Original article from Car