With 27 cars ready to roar the Geo-Paint Rally Secunda kicked off with its ceremonial start at the Terranova Village Mall in Trichardt.
Weather looked promising with clear skies and no mist in sight.
Stage 1 would see man and machine tackle a 27 km monster stage known as ‘’Kosie’’ on the Holfontein Farm which would later be re-run as Stage 3. The stage was extremely fast at places with rally cars reaching speeds of up to 200 km/h.Nico Du Randt/JG Claassen in their Can-Am Maverick were the fastest through the stage with a time of 20:13 closely followed by Dean Redelinghuys/Amon Meyiwa in their VW Polo with a time of 20:22 and in third place Cobus Groenewald/Pierre Jordaan in their Toyota Run-X A7 with a time of 20:24.
With all crews properly awake now and game faces on the rally continued to Stage 2, which would be the Super Special Stage, where two rally cars would start the stage next to each other and duel it out over the purposely built 3.23 km stage to see who would be the fasted of the two at the end of the stage.Stage victory went to the pairing of Groenewald/Jordaan with a time 2:40, second quickest went to Du Randt/Claasen with a time of 2:41 and third to locals Natie Booysen and Johan Smit in 2:48.
As the stage times were now showing at this point, the rally would prove to be nail biting till the very end with stage times being seconds apart.
Stage 3 (being a repeat of Stage 1) went to the pairing of Du Randt/Claassen with a time of 19:31, Groenewald/Jordaan took an easier approach this time around having almost rolling in Stage 1 and set the second quickest stage time of 20:01, third position would be filled by Marco Ferreira/Hannes Pienaar in their Subaru Impreza in a time of 20:30.
The Rally at its midpoint showed how tight the times actually were with an overall win possible for a number of crews. With 58 km already completed a mere 30 seconds separated the first two cars. Du Randt/Claassen led the Rally with a combined stage time of 42:25, followed in second by Groenewald/Jordaan 43:05 and in third Ferreira/Pienaar 44:58.
Stage 4 or better known as ‘’Apie’’ would be a new stage to rally Secunda and stretched a distance of 15.20 km over tight and twisting sandy roads ending on the “Super Special Stage.” Stage honours went to Ronnie Botes and Etienne Venter in yet another Can-Am Maverick with a time of 13:08, followed in second by Groenewald/Jordaan 13:27 and in third Lood de Clercq/Jp Jordaan in their Toyota Tazz with a time of 14:03.
Further back in the field there was numerous battles going on in the different groups. Group A was being led by Marco Ferreira/Hannes Pienaar with the rest of the competitors in the group all having experienced mechanical issues taking them out of the event, Group B Cobus Groenewald/Pierre Jordaan led Group B by 3:28 over brother and sister pairing of Johan/Erika de Bruyn in their Nissan 350z, in third was the brothers Cristo/Philip Carstens in their BMW 130i 9:20 behind the group leaders.
Group C saw Callie vd Merwe/Mauritz Brits come to a premature end when the diff on the car screamed enough in Stage 1. De Clercq/Jordaan had a comfortable lead in their group over the ailing Mazda RX-2 of Raaths/Menge that did not sound too healthy, Peter Pilusa/Willem Morgan in their Nissan Sentra held onto second place in the group 9:40 behind the leaders, in third 18:15 behind the group leaders were Danie Prinsloo/Scotty Hartslief in their Datsun GX.
Group D lead belonged to Booysen/Smit in their Ford Escort, behind them was a battle between two all lady competitor crews.
Andrea Raaths/Caro Storm in their VW Golf 3 were 14:10 behind the group leaders followed by Bianca/Yvonne Theunissen in their Opel Corsa trailing 18:21 behind the leaders.
The SXS Group lead belonged to Du Randt/Claassen with a lead of 2:36 over Botes/Venter. Ashley Bradbury/Lourens Du Plessis, unfortunately, rolled their car in Stage 1 ending their rally.
Stage 5 was a shortened version of Stage1/3 of only 11.25km. Stage victory went to Du Randt/Claassen in a time of 8:34, 16 seconds slower in second were Groenewald/Jordaan followed by Ferreira/Claassen with a time of 8:58.
Stage 6 was canceled by the organisers. With the fall of darkness, the last stage of the Rally got underway with the rally cars lighting up the Secunda sky.
Groenewald/Jordaan won the Stage in a time of 6:36. Second fastest Du Randt/Claassen with a time of 6:40 followed in third place by Ferreira/Pienaar 6:50. The final results of the 2018 Geo-Paint Results saw Groenewald/Jordaan take overall Rally Victory.
Top 5 finishers: 1. Cobus Groenewald/Pierre Jordaan (1:12:00) 2. Marco Ferreira/Hannes Pienaar (1:14:59)
3. Lood De Clercq/JP Jordaan (1:17:10) 4. Johan/Erica De Bruyn (1:20:33) 5. Natie Booysen/Johan Smit (1:21:34)
Africa Rally Racing Organization would hereby like to thank the farmer Kosie/Janneman Van Der Merwe and the Govan Mbeki Municipality for hosting their event.