Something old, something new…that’s what Western Cape motorsport fans can expect from NAD Rally on the weekend as South Africa’s top privateer team sets out to tackle this weekend’s Toyota Cape Dealer Rally.
The old comes in the shape of double national rally champion Enzo Kuun, who will be deputising for regular pilot Japie van Niekerk, in what will be his first outing of the year. It’s Enzo’s home turf, so he’s not going to need any time to figure out where the road goes.
The ‘new’ is experienced navigator Kesevan Naidoo – also a Cape Town local, whose life revolves around the sport – who will be reading the notes for Enzo. With changes to the occupant of the hot seat at Ford Performance (Gerhard Snyman moving across to the ‘official’ navigator berth, alongside Mark Cronje) and Japie unavailable due to business commitments, the Ford contingent will have a very different look from just an event ago! Naidoo, meanwhile, vacates a cabin he previously shared with talented Namibian, Wilro Dippenaar.
As well as three decades of experience, Kuun is also very familiar with the S2000 Fiesta, having raced it on a number of occasions in the last two seasons.
Says Western Cape-born and bred Kuun: “This is my first national championship event of the year and it is always a pleasure and a privilege to drive one of the New Africa Developments rally cars. They are always professionally prepared and it is just a case of arrive and drive!
“Despite it being a once-off, Kes and I are 100 percent serious about the event: we’ve shared a cockpit before, and this is a winning car so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t hope for a podium result. But we can also have an influence on the status quo as the 2015 championship goes down to the wire – it would be fantastic to play a role in the Ford versus Toyota battle and help Mark Cronje in the Ford Performance Fiesta to a third title.”
The event gets underway in the afternoon of Friday September 18, with two 11 km stages at Killarney racetrack and another two short tarmac stages at Cape Gate will help them blow the cobwebs out and settle the nerves, before heading out to the ‘proper’ rally stages around Malmesbury on Saturday morning. The event comprises a total of 217 stage kilometres in 12 timed sections.
“There is always great spectator support on this event, and as locals, we hope that most of them will be cheering for us and for Ford,” joked Kuun. “I’m looking forward to giving them a show worth watching, and come Saturday afternoon, giving the team at New Africa Developments something to cheer about too!”