Dust flies at the HMC Electrothread Rally

Dust, mud, water and a very cold winter’s day was all a part of the fifth round of the National Rally Championship that was raced in and around Pretoria.

The event known as the Highveld Motor Club (HMC) Electrothread Rally started off at the Cowhouse Market in Hazeldean Valley on Friday, August 17.


Going through the water puddle on Friday, August 17 at Cowhouse Market was Richard Leeke (Jnr) and Henry Köhne in the Ford Fiesta. (Photo: Samantha Traill)


Another team from eMalahleni Tiaan and Brenda Malan in their Datsun GX on Saturday, August 18. (Photo: Samantha Traill)


Juandre Nienaber and his cousin, Gert Nienaber from eMalahleni in the mielie fields making some serious dust on Saturday, August 18. (Photo: Samantha Traill)

Spectators got the opportunity to see some of South Africa’s top drivers like Guy Botterill and his co- driver Simon Vacy-Lyle, AC Potgieter and his co-driver Nico Swartz and Richard Leeke (Jnr) and his co-driver Henry Köhne in action.

Two of the stages, the drivers had to go through water and mud; drivers had their hands full in this section as the mud and water really tested the drivers.

Later that evening in the final stage for day one was held in the evening and it was a real spectator stage for the drivers and the spectators.

As the wind stopped blowing that evening, the dust hung in the air and created a dust cloud, this made it a bit more difficult for the drivers to see the route and now it was their co-driver’s responsibility to make sure that their pace notes were accurate.

FULL GALLERY

Day two was freezing yet spectators came out in numbers.

Most of the day two stages took place at Willem Prinsloo Museum; it was a spectacular stage with a mixture of tarmac and gravel stages.

The other stages took place in farm lands which the drivers enjoyed making dust clouds to entertain the crowd. Thirty vehicles entered the rally and it ensured heaps of fun.

Two teams from eMalahleni also took part in the rally, Juandre and his cousin Gert Nienaber in their Buco Witbank Toyota Tazz and Tiaan Malan and Brenda Malan in the Datsun GX.

Juandre and Gert had a mission and that was to stay as close as possible to some of the cars in the R2 class.


In the Toyota Etios was Guy Botterill and Simon Vacy-Lyle, the front tyre digging into the mud. (Photo: Samantha Traill)


AC Potgieter and his co-driver Nico Swartz from Secunda in their Volkswagen Polo at the HMC Electrothread Rally. (Photo: Samantha Traill)

This went good for the first 500m when the car kept on jumping out of gear and after stage six the crew decided to change the box in only 31 minutes.

“This was mind blowing and they really worked hard,” said Juandre

In stage eight the front right shock also gave in, which meant the handling was not up to par. By stage nine a corner post got the better of the car and some serious damage was done to the front right of the car.

In stage 10 the car just kept cutting out with no power to the coil whatsoever; for Juandre and Gert this was the end of the rally for them. But yet they fought until the end.


Joe De Gouveia and his co-driver, Tommy Coetzee from Middelburg took part in the HMC Electrothread Rally. Joe kicking up some dust. (Photo: Samantha Traill)


George Smalberger and Carolyn Swan in the Volkswagen Polo going through the water stage on Friday, August 17. (Photo: Samantha Traill)

“Lots of problems for us on the rally but still a near perfect first three stages that saw us with an average sixth fastest times going through the stages. A special thanks to our crew and all the supporters and all the sponsors,” said Juandre.

Once the last stage took place, all the rally drivers, co-drivers and spectators gathered together for the prize giving.

  AUTHOR
Samantha Traill
JOURNALIST/PHOTOGRAPHER

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