dates : 27th November 2005
3rd December 2005
year 2005 has been a memorable one for motorsports-man and
car nut Gugu Zulu. Not only has he joined the Car Torque
team and sampled some of the hottest cars in the land, but
as a rally driver heís scored some excellent results for
the BP Volkswagen rally team.
The final rally of the season was a memorable one for the
hard-working VW men from Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape.
The Tzaneen Rally, held in hotter-than- Hades northern
weather, saw their star driver Jannie Habig take the 2005 SA
driverís title in his Volkswagen Polo, with the help of
navigator Douglas Judd.
Habigís Polo competes in the new top S2000
The S2000 Polo is an extremely complex competition car,
built by Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa and developed
entirely by the local team.
It has the latest sophisticated navigation equipment, a
special quick-release handbrake to enable the driver to lock
up the rear wheels to get the tail out, and the car is
strengthened by an intricate roll cage, both for safety and
to provide much-needed rigidity for rough gravel rally
Itís the top rally car in the country right now, having
become quicker and quicker throughout the season to reclaim
the coveted title from Toyota.
Gugu drives the teamís CitiGolf in the highly-competitive
A5 class, and unlike the four-wheel-drive
championship-winning Polo, itís a front-wheel-drive-only
car, which makes it quite tricky to handle.
Itís a much more standard car in essence to conform to the
rules for A5 cars, and has a 1400 cc modified engine and
specially toughened suspension.
It runs a special close-ratio gearbox and limited slip diff,
with a lower-than-standard overall ratio to provide better
acceleration on dirt roads. And it has absolutely no
typical National Championship rally is held over two days,
and that cement-mixer environment must drive Gugu, and his
navigator Llewelyn Fourie, absolutely crazy!
A major part of a rally is driving at the speed limit on
public roads that link the various special stages, which
make up the speed aspect of the event.
After clinching the rally championship, the BP Volkswagen
team organized a corporate day at a special stage just
outside Randburg. And Gugu and the rest of VW team drivers
were on duty to give special guests a taste of rallying at
the top level.
Itís a great way for the drivers to relax after a grueling
season. And itís also an opportunity for the team to say
thank you to their sponsors and associates.
The costs and logistics of a national championship season
are enormous, and there are so many unsung heroes behind the
scene that make this great motorsport spectacle possible.
For the passengers on the day, itís an experience theyíll
Guguís not fooling us for a moment. But when he climbs
behind the wheel of his rally car, the adrenalinís already
pumping, and this helps maintain the immense concentration
levels needed to drive a rally car in anger.
Itís ironic that a lower-level two-wheel-drive car like
the Golf is probably more difficult to drive than an S2000
machine. Less power and grip means that everythingís
always on a knife-edge.
Rallying is all about anticipation, setting the car up for a
direction change before the obstacle actually arrives.
A good rally driver floats his car over the dirt roads, and
thereís no time to relax in a special stage.
The top class Polos of Jan Habig and team-mate Enzo Kuun are
capable of over a 180 km/h on dirt, and that feels like 380
The sheer traction and ability to absorb punishment of these
two-litre machines is amazing.
Jan Habig and Enzo Kuun in the second Polo fought a
monumental battle for the 2005 championship, with Kuun
finally losing out when a suspension member broke.
The teamís Class A7 driver Hergen Fekken rounded off the
season with a class victory in Tzaneen, while Gugu fought
back from earlier mishaps to come second in Class A5 after
an impressive drive.
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