After a four-month break, the South African Rally Championship is back in business, even more so with Sasol DualFuel as series sponsor. The oil giant has been a great friend of motorsport in South Africa and abroad for many years, and it's great to see them involved at the overall level as well. This is aside from their sponsorship of my team, the Sasol Volkswagen Rally Team and the brilliantly organized and promoted Sasol Rally. The sponsorship, the first since Stannic withdrew at the end of 1998 will go a long way towards ensuring better coverage, running and more interest in the sport. -

- The Tour Natal, also with a new sponsor in Hitachi Power Tools for the next three years, was always going to be a tricky affair. Season openers are never easy as most of the teams are experimenting with different ideas implemented during the off-season. There is also a bit of rustiness in a lot of us drivers as we have been out of action for more than 120 days. -

- Team Sasol Volkswagen is smaller this year, with Keith Coleman, Tony Ball and Barry Grobellaar no longer part of the team. This has been done mainly in the interest of efficiency and trying to have a more effective effort instead of going for sheer numbers. As it showed last year, numbers don't always deliver. Besides, I believe what counts the most is winning rallies as that is what many people remember. We will just have to wait and see how things shape during the season. -

- Some may be surprised to see the new colour scheme of all the Sasol Volkswagen Team cars, but that is the 'official' Volkswagen Racing blue, which luckily blends in well with the colours of our backers, Sasol DualFuel. The homologation of aerodynamic wings has made the cars look sportier and more exciting in action, which is what many fans look for when they go to any motorsport event. -

- I must admit that Douglas Judd and I did not expect to win by such a wide margin, especially that Enzo was flying on Day Two. In Stage 9 we took the decision to do without a spare wheel, a huge risk but a calculated one as it was just over 9km long. This was in the interest of losing some weight and taking vital seconds off our teammate. A bit stupid one might say, but in short stages like that you lose more time changing the wheel than driving with a flat, so it would not have made any difference. This was after the mind games of the night before when people obviously tried not to be first on the road on Day Two as the surfaces are usually very loose. Doug and I debated the issue and decided to run our own race and not worry too much about what other people are doing. It worked like a charm although we were hoping all the Volkswagens would at the very least finish high up in the order. -

- Next up is the Total Rally South Africa in Badplaas, also a round of the FIA African Rally Championship. We won it in dramatic fashion last year, so this year we'll have to wait and see. -

- Read more about Jan Habig and Douglas Judd and the Sasol Volkswagen Rally Team at -

- For photographic go to:

Original article from Car