All eyes on AC and Natie


All eyes will be on local lad AC Potgieter and Tommy du Toit in their Lake Umuzi/De Stroom Guest Lodge Volkswagen Polo R2 at the Secunda Rally this weekend.
4th last time out, the Trichardt youngster will be under huge pressure in the Super 1600 class to deliver a podium finish in front of his friends and family.
He has the ability, and needs a helping of luck to deliver.
The class for 1600cc, two-wheel drive cars has seen the double and defending champions Guy Botterill and Simon Vacy Lyle dominate in their Yato Tools Toyota Etios R2.
Such is their pace, they made a small slice of SA Rally history on the Sasol Rally, becoming the first S1600 team to finish on the overall podium with third place after a faultless drive. With two wins from two starts, they are well on their way to a third title.
Second in the standings, 11 points adrift, is Paulus Franken and former SA Co-Driver’s Champion Pierre Arries in their Manitou Group Volkswagen Polo R2, with two podium finishes under their belts.
The car will be fitted with a new engine for the Secunda Rally and they are hoping to stop the rampant Botterill.
Third on the log is Richard Leeke and Henry Kohne in their ATS Ford Fiesta R2. The teen claimed a well-judged 2nd in the Free State, but blotted his copybook by rolling out of 2nd place on the Sasol Rally.
They return with a lot to prove.
Andrew Heine and rookie co-driver Lloyd Brady (this will be just his third ever rally) claimed their first finish in over a year last month and ended on the podium as a bonus.
With their VW Polo’s reliability now sorted, fans can expect another top result from the young Port Elizabeth crew.
Chris Coertse and Robbie Coetzee (Electrothread Toyota Etios R2) have been on-song this year, and but for mishaps along the way, would be higher up the championship rankings.
Given a clean run, they too will be podium contenders.
George Smalberger and Chris Brand (Shield Car Care VW Polo R2) have been blighted by electrical problems on both rounds so far.
If this is sorted, they should show their real potential and be a top five contender.
Capetonian Ashley Haigh Smith and his Irish co-driver Niall Burns, who flies out for each rally, will hope to turn their season around and bring their quick React Ford Fiesta R2 home with a strong helping of points to boot. A combination of car and driver issues has kept the youngster off the podium so far.
The Secunda Rally will host a round of the Northern Regions Rally Championship on Saturday, and should see Roelof Coetzee/Rikus Fourie in their beautiful Ford Escort Mk 2 take on Natie Booysen/Rudolf Pretorius (Ford Escort Mk 1).
Jaco/George Baker (Autozone Toyota Tazz), Nico Nienaber/Gert J Van Rensburg (in a beautifully prepared historic Toyota Corolla Mk 2) and Arnold Neveling/Michelle Lourens will also slug it out for line honours.

Tommy du Toit and AC Potgieter.
Tommy du Toit and AC Potgieter.


Natie Booysen.
Natie Booysen.