Bela-Bela Rally brings 2014 sea­son to an ex­cit­ing close

The Star Early Edition - - MOTORSPORT -

THE 2014 South African Na­tional Rally Cham­pi­onship comes to a close with the all-new Bela-Bela Mo­tor Rally in Lim­popo Prov­ince this Fri­day and Satur­day.

Ap­pro­pri­ately, in what has been an ab­sorb­ing pot­boiler of a cham­pi­onship, spread over eight rounds and six prov­inces, the 10-spe­cial stage event will be cen­tred on the his­toric town of Bela-Bela (“the pot that boils” in the lo­cal lan­guage, Tswana), for­merly known as Warm­baths, whose name is de­rived from the geother­mic hot springs around which the town is built.

Start­ing at 1pm to­mor­row from the Bela Mall in Mark Street, it will be a spec­ta­tor­friendly event cen­tred around the For­ever Re­sort.

The ti­tle has al­ready been wrapped up by Cas­trol Toy­ota’s Leeroy Poul­ter and his nav­i­ga­tor Elvéne Coet­zee, so the at­ten­tion is shift­ing to the bat­tle for sec­ond place. In the run­ning for run­ner-up po­si­tion are Cas­trol Toy­ota’s Herken Fekken/Carolyn Swan, and Volk­swa­gen Sa­sol­rac­ing’s Dutch driver Hans Weijs Jnr and his nav­i­ga­tor Björn De­gandt.

Last year’s cham­pi­ons, Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton in the Ford Dealer Team Fi­esta, would also love to fin­ish off a trou­bled sea­son with a vic­tory.

By their stan­dards, their 2014 cam­paign has been in­dif­fer­ent and the 2012 and 2013 cham­pi­ons can so far only look back on two vic­to­ries this sea­son in a year which has been a real test of character.

When things go well, the Ford Dealer Team Fi­esta S2000 has been the fastest car over just about any given stage. - Mo­tor­ing Staff

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