Enzo Kuun in a Sasol DualFuel Volkswagen Golf salvaged some pride for Volkswagen as he finished second to Serge Damseaux in a Toyota RunX at the Total Rally of South Africa in Badplaas on Saturday. The Total Rally was Round 2 of the Sasol DualFuel South African Rally Championship and Round 1 of the FIA Africa Rally Championship. -

- While the rally is easily the longest of the championship, the attrition rate was not as high as in previous years, despite the fact that Tjaart van der Walt had to retire on Day One with engine trouble. His Sasol Volkswagen teammate Hergen Fekken drove the rally of his life in trying conditions to finish fifth overall in the second Sasol DualFuel Volkswagen Polo Playa, surviving a misfire that was only partly cured by his engineers late on Friday. This ensured second in Class A7 behind Team Total's Etienne Lourens in a Toyota Corolla. -

- Most heartbreaking was defending champion Jan Habig's retirement a few hundred metres from the end of the last stage, due to a mechanical failure. He was comfortably placed for a third-place finish behind teammate Enzo Kuun. He now has a lot of catching up to do on Damseaux, who has a second place finish and a win, compared to the defending champion's One win in Natal last month. -

- It was not plain sailing for Damseaux and Kuun however as the Subaru Impreza assault threatened to take over on Day Two. Johnny Gemmel in a Class A-specced all-wheel drive Subaru led for much of the rally before his turbo cried enough a few kilometres outside of parc fermme on Saturday morning. -

- This left Damseaux in the lead, with Lourens, Habig, Kuun and Rueda close on his heels. With all the drama from last year's installment where Habig won right at the death, it was difficult to put money on anyone winning at that stage, as there were still almost 100km of competitive distance left. The longest of the stages was 48,10km, which put a lot of the competitors under tremendous strain in the stifling heat. -

- In the end, experience, luck and pure grit decided the final outcome. Having landed his car on its nose while taking a jump, Damseaux must have been thanking his lucky stars that he emerged from the Jessievale long stage still 53 seconds to the good over Kuun in the Sasol DualFuel Volkswagen Golf. -

- Nkosinathi Nzimande and Fani Moyiwa in the Sasol Volkswagen Chico finished a brilliant (17 seconds off) 2nd overall in Class A5, eclipsing fellow Class A5 teammates Gugulethu Zulu and stand-in navigator Uwe Koch who retired (engine) early on day 2. If this weekend's consistent performance is anything to go by, they are in line for more wins this season. The duo was competing in their third Total Rally having entered as mere novices in 2001. -

- Quotes: "This rally is always filled with drama, luckily it did not involve me at all this time. I'm really sorry Jan had to retire right at the end as we would have had two Sasol Volkswagens on the podium, but there's always a next time. Hopefully we'll emerge on top of the pile next time." - Enzo Kuun. -

- "We had a tough time on this one as we experience quite a few gremlins throughout. We however always thought we could make the best of the situation, especially that our technical team managed to cure some of the problems we experienced. Lady luck had her own ideas though and we had to retire in heart-breaking fashion. Douglas and I have it all to do at the Cape Rally in order to keep up with Serge." - Jan Habig. -

- Top Five: -

- 1. 1. Serge Damseaux (Team Castrol Toyota RunX) -

- 2. 2. Enzo Kuun (Sasol DualFuel Volkswagen Golf) -

- 3. 3. Etienne Lourens (Team Total Toyota Corolla) -

- 4. 4. Fernando Rueda (Motion Vehicles/Sasol DualFuel Mitsubishi Lancer) -

- 5. 5. Hergen Fekken (Sasol DualFuel Volkswagen Polo Playa) -

- For full results and stage times plus TV broadcast times of the Total Rally South Africa visit: www.sasolrallyscene.co.za. -

- Round 3 of the Sasol DualFuel Rally Championship is the Toyota Dealers Cape Rally on 30/31 May. -

- NOTE: Free images of the Sasol Volkswagen Rally Team are available at: http://www.motorpics.co.za/annPics.asp?anncode=71601433333

Original article from Car