Mark Cronje in Ford Dealer Team Ford Fiesta has finished day one in the lead on the Volkswagen Rally that is taking place in Port Elizabeth. Cronje took the lead from the start and in spite of an early challenge from Leeroy Poulter in the Team Castrol Toyota Yaris extended his lead to 37.5 over Poulter.
Cronje’s time for the seven stages of the day is 54:52.7 followed by Poulter +37.5. Third overall is the Sasolracing Volkswagen driver, Hans Weijs +1:16.7.He is followed by the Imperial Toyota of Giniel de Villiers +2:18.3.
The young Henk Lategan in another Sasolracing Volkswagen Polo is fourth +2:36.3 with Gugu Zulu in a similar car fifth on +5:42.2.
Wilro Dippenaar in a Toyota Auris is next up +6:25.6.
Charl beurden in a Volkswagen PoloR2 is leading the 1600 class and is 7:38.5 off the pace of the leader.
The stages, described by competitors ad challenging and technical has taken its share of casualties. As reported earlier Hergen Fekken, Team Castrol Toyota Yaris,Raimund Baumsclager, Japie van Niekerk and Thilo Himmel all withdrew from the event for various reasons.
The Rally is the fourth round of the SA National Championship. Another eight stages will be run tomorrow before the finish of the event in Port Elizabeth at the Nelson Mandela Stadium.