The start of the 25th Sasol Rally in Sabie this morning was very much like a song that is being played over and over again with the same performer doing the honours. Altogether 27 cars started the first of the six stages to be run today. Two of the stages are tar stages.
As expected Leeroy Poulter in the Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota Yaris won the stage in 11:33.6, followed by the second Toyota of Giniel de Villiers 4.8 seconds later.
Absent from the starting list was three time winner Mark Cronje who withdrew from rallying some three weeks ago.
Third was Wilro Dippenaar, from Namibia, in a Ford Fiesta 20.4 seconds behind Poulter, followed by Theuns Joubert in a Class NRC4 Toyota Auris. Joubert was 1:03.0 slower than the leader.
The current Class S1600 champion, Guy Botterill, was 4th in a Toyota Etios R2 finishing the stage 1:14.0 behind Poulter.
The current Africa Rally Champion from Zambia, Muna Singh in a Subaru Impreza, filled sixth place + 1:50.4. He waqs followed by another ARC entry Don Smith from Kenya in another Subaru Impreza +3:00.5.
The Sasol Rally is the second round of the South African Rally Championship. It is contested over fourteen stages with a total stage distance of 213km. It is also the second round of the African Rally Championship.
For the first time in its 25 year history the event will finish in Sabie tonight and re-start there again tomorrow morning. The rally is being organised by SAM and the Clerk of the Course is Willie du Plessis.