The big player in the final round of the South African National Rally Championship was the weather. The field could complete just six of the planned 12 stages before the inclement conditions proved insurmountable.
Five stages took place on the first day of the Garden Route Rally, round eight for 2013 and the season finale. Stage six, the first for day two, proved also to be the only stage for the second day. The field tackled the Montague Pass and then rally organisers were forced to stop further competition due to the highly unpredictable conditions.
“The 2013 season has been incredibly demanding,” says Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport. “A lot has been expected of man and machine and the final round just served to underscore how extreme the year has been.”
With the event declared completed with five of the planned stages left to run, competitors finished where they were on the standings at that point. For Enzo Kuun and Douglas Judd this meant a consistent performance over the day one stages saw them in fourth place overall in their Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo S2000. The pair started day two with their performance at the same level and were on track for a good finish.
For Gugu Zulu and Carl Peskin in their Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo S2000 Vivo the Garden Route Rally saw them claim sixth overall thanks to a smooth performance despite the difficult weather conditions. The pair kept a strong pace to claim second overall in the S2000 Challenge category.
Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries brought their Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo S2000 home in eighth place in the S2000 category, a good recovery after their car was damaged by a rock on the final stage of day one. A strong start to day two boosted them up the standings, on track for a strong finish, before the rally was declared complete due to the bad weather and they could not build further on this performance.