ZIMBABWEAN motor rally champion Conrad Rautenbach finished fourth at the Volkswagen Rally in Port Elizaberth South Africa last Saturday.
The Volkswagen Rally was the fifth round of the eight-legged 2010 Sasol South African National Rally Championship in which Rautenbach and fellow rally driver Robson Maganezi were the only Zimbabweans competing.
South Africa’s Johnny Gemmel, who had Drew Sturrock as his co-driver, won the main S2000 class rally.
A puncture on stage eight dampened Conrad’s chances of catching Gemmell after winning the first two of the five contested stages during the race.
Speaking to Independent sport on Wednesday Conrad said he could have done better had it not been for the puncture he suffered.
“We could have won had it not been for a puncture on the last day close to the end of the event,” said Conrad.
“I am a bit sad because we should have won but we set the fastest stages times and proved a point so it was not all bad. I have got a really great team that work very hard,” he said
Rautenbach (25) was competing in the main S2000 Class while Maganezi (39) was fighting for the top honours in the N3 Class, which is designed for two-litre cars.
Zimbabwe’s Rautenbach and his co-driver Peter Marsh finished fourth, 30, 1 seconds behind Habig.
Charl Wilken/Greg Godrich, in the Basil Read Bizhub Ford Fiesta, had their first finish in the Ford after a disastrous start to the season when Wilken’s new Ford Fiesta burnt out on the first event of the year.
The event consisted of 11 stages with a total stage distance of 163km and Zimbabwe’s Rautenbach and Maganezi were all smiles after they both managed to finish the race on Saturday.
Maganezi was particularly pleased with his performance in the N3 Class where he finished second behind South Africa’s Stefanie Hugo. In fact, Maganezi came 25th overall while Hugo was placed 17th. But for Maganezi, it was one of his best performances during this year’s Sasol South African National Rally Championship series.
He also managed to pick up the much-needed championship points which saw him shooting to the top of the N3 Class log with 25 points. – Staff Writer