After a long absence of 4 months from the race seat, both myself and co-driver Dave McGregor were raring to go and do battle in our Sasol DualFuel Volkswagen Chico in class A5 in KZN. Sadly what was to be a very great start to a good season drew to a close rather too soon. -

- Upon my arrival in MY KINGDOM (KWAZULU NATAL) we went for a shake down with the car, and on our 1st run we experienced gear selection problems. I could not select 2nd gear from 3rd in the high revs, which made matters interesting, especially if you are at the edge of a 50m+ gorge into the unknown. -

- With the problem being identified, our crew got to work. They worked the whole of Thursday evening till 04:30am taking out the gearbox and trying to fix the sync rows that were causing the havoc. -

- With the might of my ancestors shining on us, we did make the start. In our 1st stage of 1.2km all seemed well as I charged up the gears, then without warning, the clutch started slipping. -

- Being young and with one season of rallying behind me, I was in for a surprise as my crew tried to rectify the problem. It was either change the gearbox and risk being time barred or improvise. Thankfully once again, I was surrounded by old TPIES who had seen it all, been there, done that and got the T-shirt. -

- The crew reverted to the world’s most famous soft drink, = COCA COLA!!!! Yeap, COKE, I thought they were MAD. Needless to say, Coke provided the much-needed grip to hold the clutch in place we decided that we were going to try and nurse the car to the finish. -

- With a 2 litre Coke bottle in my windscreen washer container, I kept squinting the soft drink into the gearbox from inside the car. It’s amazing the kind of things one comes up with when put in a situation. -

- On the first 10 km of the 30 km stage we ran well till we went off entering a horseshoe. We basically made a short cut, a very unexpected one that dropped 50m deep into a gorge that was extremely steep and that only the brave could take. I decided to boot the throttle and we saw ourselves hitting sugarcane for a good 10 seconds. We ramped back onto the road, upon which Dave and I burst out in laughter. -

- We got through two more stages, but on Stage 5, we went over a bridge into a left and our control arm broke on the left wheel which caused the car to do an involuntary U turn and rolled over the embankment, hitting a tree and landing in the river. Both Dave and I walked unscathed out of the incident and it took the help of a farmer and his crew 4.5 hours to take the car out the river. We had dropped 7 meters from the road and landed on our side, Dave’s side thankfully. -

- With all the troubles we experienced we live to tell the tale and look forward to the next event the Total Rally of South Africa in April. -

- Read more about Gugu Zulu and his rally campaign at: or

- For photographic of Gugu Zulu go to:

Original article from Car