Serge Damseaux loves a challenge, and few come bigger than defending his lead in the Sasol DualFuel South African rally championship with a new car and engine. -

- At this critical stage Damseaux and co-driver Robert Paisley (Castrol Toyota RunX RSi) are gearing up for one of the most important challenges of the season – to extend their lead in the Volkswagen Rally to be held in the Eastern Cape on July 18-19. -

- The pressure is on the A8 contenders Damseaux/Paisley, Jan Habig/Douglas Judd (Sasol VW Golf) and Enzo Kuun/Guy Hodgson (Sasol VW Golf) to finish ahead of Class A7 driver Etienne Lourens and navigator Andre Vermeulen (Team Total Toyota Corolla RSi). Damseaux currently leads the drivers championship with 95 points from Lourens (86) with Habig and Kuun both on 61 points. -

- “We are at the halfway mark and will be going all out to win.” said Serge. “With Etienne collecting points we’ll have to give it all we’ve got to win the rally and open the points gap” said Serge. -

- “I am hoping for another good finish so as to stay in touch with the A8 cars.” said Lourens. “The VW Rally is not as rough as the Sasol and we will try to get a good overall finishing position and win our class.” -

- Toyota crews currently lead the overall championship, and classes A7, A6, N3 and N2. In addition Toyota leads the prestige South African rally manufacturers championship by a substantial margin. -

- In the Group N championship, former circuit racing champion Charl Wilken and co-driver Robin Houghton have a comfortable 38 point lead in Class N3 in their new Castrol Toyota RunX RSi over their closest contenders, Wiley Harrington/Willie van Straaten (Renault Clio). Wilken/Houghton have had four successive class wins and are looking forward to collecting more points in the next round in the Port Elizabeth area. -

- Chris De Wit/Janine Labuschagne (Toyota Corolla) currently lead Class N2 from Capetonians Richard Behm/Grant St Clair (Toyota Corolla RSi). -

- After two non-finishes Craig Trott/Gerhard Snyman (Team Total Corolla RSi) hope to consolidate their lead in Class A6 over newcomers to the national championship, Jaco Venter/JB van Nieuwenhuizen (Toyota Corolla) and Andy Haig-Smith/Gerald Brace (Toyota Corolla), as do Dolf Coetzee/Willie Malan (Toyota Tazz) in Class A5. -

- “The super special stage planned for the VW Rally, with three cars on the track at the same time, has never been done before and could be very interesting” said Toyota Motorsport Manager Wammy Haddad. “This super special stage will provide spectators with exciting and unusual shoot-outs. We are looking forward to it,” he added. -

- The Volkswagen Rally will start at 12h00 at Kings Beach in Port Elizabeth with the first special stage held at the Scribante race circuit at 12h43. Crews then proceed to the Longmore Forest with another special stage at Scribante Race Circuit at 19h05. -

- The rally finishes on Saturday afternoon at Kings Beach at 16H23.

Original article from Car