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Subaru Rally Chicks

Broadcast dates : 18th July 2004
22nd July 2004


Subaru South Africa entered National Championship rallying here in 2000. That year, old-stager Schalk Burger also showed the car's potential by entering the Africa Rally Championship with an Impreza, and Schalk took the African title in 2001, partnered by top navigator and Kyalami circuit manager Piet Swanepoel.

In 2001 the very fast Johnny Gemmel entered the South African series, winning the newly-instated Class N4 for near-standard four-wheel-drive cars.

The following season no less than seven Subarus were in the hands of privateers, and now in 2004, 15 Subarus are entered in our National Championship events.

One of these cars is this pink and white Rally Chicks special. It started its rallying life as a press car, was subsequently crashed and bought by Eddie Verlaque for his Planet Plant Hire team.

The driving crew are 29-year-old Lola Verlaque and her 19-year-old navigator, Megan.

The Planet team car is typical of the 15 privateer Subarus run here.

The South African Subaru division refuses to run a "works" or factory team in South Africa, but has consistently supported private teams in terms of spares and repair assistance.

The car's engine is completely standard, as per Group N4 rules, and although some teams are rumored to run high boost on their turbochargers, the Rally Chicks run standard boost levels in the interest of reliability.

Suspension can be uprated, the ride heights can be raised for rough terrain and obviously special rally tyres can be used.

But this car is as close to a street-standard car as it is possible to get, with the exception of much of the interior removed.

Other changes are an approved roll cage, rally seats with racing safety harnesses, and special lights are fitted when rallying at night.

Standard or not, this Subaru reaches speeds of up to two hundred kilometres per hour on dirt roads, and that has to be very exciting.

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