Page 1

TOP GEAR

Open season on speed Volkswagen and BP renew their winning partnership at the start of the 2007 Rally Championship Season By Juliet Koeman

M

ix together adrenalin, speed and raw power with two leading rally championship companies, Volkswagen and BP, and you have a winning rally team set to take the 2007 season by storm. In February, Volkswagen celebrated the renewal of its motorsport partnership with BP for another three seasons, kicking off the 2007 racing season that started a month later in March. This

partnership has enjoyed unprecedented success as demonstrated by Jannie Habig, winning the South African National Rally Driver Championship title in 2005, and Enzo Kuun winning the same title in 2006, both driving S2000 Rally Polo vehicles. PERFORMANCE-DRIVEN BRANDS As Bill Stephens, Communications General Manager for Volkswagen of South Africa, said

at the announcement, “Both brands have an entrenched value of offering technology that is performance-driven and innovative, which makes the partnership ideal.” BP will be supplying the rally team with top quality BP Ultimate performance fuel and lubricants that complement Volkswagen’s state-of-the-art engine technology. Libby Ferrandi, BP’s Marketing Manager, said the company is very excited about the sponsorship

GETTING TO KNOW THE BP/VOLKSWAGEN RALLY WORKS TEAM TEAM 1 DRIVER Name: Enzo Kuun Date of Birth: 2 July 1968 First Rally: Nissan Rally (Middleburg, 1987) First Podium: Castrol Rally (Swaziland, 1990)

TEAM 2 DRIVER Name: Jannie Habig Date of birth: 14 September 1959 First Rally: Dunlop Rally (Midlands, 1980) First Podium: Regional Rally (Midlands, 1983)

TEAM 3 DRIVER Name: Hergen Fekken Date of birth: 5 May 1971 First Rally: Transvaal Rally (Transvaal, 1995) First Podium: Draper Komatsu Rally (Northern Transvaal, 1997)

TEAM 4 DRIVER Name: Gugu Zulu Date of Birth: 13 May 1978 First Rally: Tour Natal (KwaZulu-Natal, 2000) First Podium: Total Rally of South Africa (Mpumalanga, 2002)

TEAM 5 DRIVER Name: André Cleenwerck Date of birth: 31 August 1977 First Rally: Autumn Trial Rally (Cape Town, 1997) First Podium: Autumn Trial Rally (Cape Town, 1997)

NAVIGATOR Name: Guy Hodgson Date of Birth: 20 June 1954 First Rally: Firestone International (Spain, 1973) First Podium: British Motoring News Championships (England, 1974)

NAVIGATOR Name: Douglas Judd Date of birth: 2 October 1955 First Rally: Regional Sealed Odo Rally (Transvaal, 1975) First Podium: Nissan International Rally (Cape Town, 1989)

NAVIGATOR Name: Pierre Arries Date of birth: 22 May 1971 First Rally: Total Autumn Trial (Western Province Regional Championship, 1989) First Podium: Nissan Dealers Rally (Western Cape, 1994)

NAVIGATOR Name: Carl Peskin Date of birth: 24 May 1974 First Rally: Regional Tre Cento Rally (Western Province, 1996) First Podium: Regional Automark Rally (Durban, 2003)

NAVIGATOR Name: Mark Irvine Date of birth: 21 October 1967 First Rally: Class S20 (Port Elizabeth, 1987) First Podium: Osram Rally (Bloemfontein, 2006)

20 Volkswagen


Left, from front: Up and coming rally star, Gugu Zulu, Libby Ferrandi (Marketing Manager of BP) and rally driver for BP and Volkswagen, Jannie Habig Right, from front: Bill Stephens (Communications General Manager of Volkswagen of South Africa), Andre van der Watt (Volkswagen Motorsport Manager) and navigator, Hergen Fekken

renewal and the opportunities that it presents, adding, “BP has performance, progression, innovation and ‘green’ as its brand cornerstones and we are confident that BP Ultimate will assist the Volkswagen team in achieving even greater success in the rally seasons to follow.” UNVEILING A NEW LOOK In announcing the continuation of the partnership between BP and Volkswagen, the team also unveiled the Volkswagen Rally Polo’s brand new livery for the racing season ahead. Green and blue combined the branding of both BP Ultimate and Volkswagen in a slick new look for the vehicles. The Rally Polo’s new colours were unveiled on 7 February at Jeremy Clarkson’s MPH07 Show. AN EXCITING YEAR OF RACING This year’s eight-round championship is set to become one of the most exciting for many years with drivers behind the wheels of worldclass S2000 all-wheel-drive vehicles. The S2000 category, launched in 2005, is experiencing remarkable growth this year with around eight works and private teams racing in

specially built, non-turbo, two-litre, all-wheeldrive cars. For Volkswagen, the season sees current SA Rally Champion, Enzo Kuun at the head of the team with navigator, Guy Hodgson as well as Jannie Habig and Douglas Judd and Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries all driving S2000 class Volkswagen Polos. Gugu Zulu will be moving up to the A7 class in a Polo and André Cleenwerck will be in control of an A5 class Volkswagen Citi. DOUBLE S2000 WINNER Volkswagen is a two-time S2000 winner, having taken all titles since the class’ inception. The first Driver Championship title was lifted by Jannie Habig in 2005. The win last year went to Enzo Kuun, finally allowing him to realise the dream of winning a National championship. Speaking to journalists from www.motoring.co.za Kuun said, “That first championship victory evaded me for a long time. I almost believed that it would never happen. I will not be satisfied with just one though. 2006 was just the beginning – I want a shelf of championship trophies before I’m done.”

OVERVIEW The opening event of the season, in Cape Town in March, was held on mainly dry and dusty farm and forest roads. Crowds of spectators turned out to support their favourite rally team that showed off its new livery at the event and were thrilled when Jannie and Douglas achieved second place overall. The second event, the Sasol Rally (held in Mpumalanga in April) was one of the most punishing events in this area for many years, with only 37 of the original 60 starters finishing. Despite this the team managed three podium finishes. The third rally, the Zulu Rally, took place in Durban in May. Fans who came out to enjoy the excitement of the fast and furious race were not disappointed when Hergen and Pierre claimed first place. VOLKSWAGEN RALLY The Volkswagen Rally will be held in Port Elizabeth from 20–21 July so make sure you get there for a weekend of spectacular, adrenalin-pumping racing.

UPCOMING NATIONAL RALLY EVENTS 22-23 June

Total International Rally

Ermelo

20-21 July

Volkswagen Rally

Port Elizabeth

17-18 August

Osram Rally

Bloemfontein

21-22 September

Cape Subaru Rally

Cape Town

26-27 October

Toyota PMC Rally

Tzaneen

For regular press releases after the events, visit the Volkswagen website at www.vw.co.za/about/racing/rally Volkswagen 21

edition_2_article_3  

TEAM 4 DRIVER Name: Gugu Zulu Date of Birth: 13 May 1978 First Rally: Tour Natal (KwaZulu-Natal, 2000) First Podium: Total Rally of South Af...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you