This past weekend Zwartkops raceway and the Gerotek testing facility played host to the annual Pretoria rally, lovingly dubbed the “All Tar” rally as the entire event is run on either tarred or cemented surfaces, sponsored by MLC Computer Solutions.
The event drew 48 entries and kicked off on the Zwartkops raceway, running 5 laps in the opposite direction, combined with a section through the pit lane and the go-cart track. This section was dominated by the Fiesta ST of Martin Steyn and Van Aardt Schoeman, setting the fastest time for the stage, before heading of to Gerotek for the next 5 stages.
The first few cars on the event managed to catch the treacherous mountain stage, held on the Ride and Handling track at Gerotek, in a dry condition, but it wasn’t long before the heavens opened and turned everything on its head. Steyn and Schoeman managed a decent time through the second stage with Steyn loving the wet conditions and having to overtake many cars in the process.
Stages 3 and 6 were held on the Dynamic Handling track, running it in different directions, with intermittent rain throughout the day making it slippery and at times very muddy. Being a great spectator’s stage, as you can see most of the track from any point, saw the Fiesta ST do very well and setting good times despite running on semi-slick racing tires on a track that at times better resembled a swimming pool than a racetrack.
Stage 4 was a very short stage being run on the suspension track combined with the long straightaway and returning to the mountain stage for stage 5, being run in the opposite direction. The Fiesta managed a second fastest stage time for the day on stage 4, trailing behind the powerful Noble M400 of Jan Botha by a mere second.
All the cars returned to the Zwartkops raceway for the final stage of the day, running 5 laps around Zwartkops starting from the go-cart track.
After all the times were reviewed the final results yielded the Ford Fiesta ST in the hands of Steyn and Schoeman being first in class S4, followed by the VW Golf of Jan Delport and Carel Vos, trailing by a full 5 minutes and 10 seconds.
The overall results saw the Ford Fiesta ST in second place to the provisional championship winners of 2007, Chad Lambert and Nic Prinsloo, trailing them by only 33 seconds through the total event.
Steyn and Schoeman’s rally participation is made possible by I-Mobile, Jody’s Tyres, EBC Brakes and ProTech Motors, and is supported by Sabertek, Lazarus Motor Company, Duigan Brothers and Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.