With five of the day’s stages seven stages run, Japie van Niekerk in his Ford Fiesta RS 2000 has built up a healthy lead on the York Rally taking place in the Sabie forests. The York Rally has taken the place of the Sasol Rally and is the second round of the South African Rally Championship for R2 cars.
Van Niekerk took the lead from the start this morning in Sabie and has won all five stages held so far. His time for the day is 1:11:42.s. He leads the foremost contender for the African Rally Championship, of which the York Rally is the third round, Jaspreet Singh Chatthe, by 2:58.4.
Third is the current South African s1600 champion, Guy Botterill, in a Toyota Etios R2, trailing van Niekerk by 3:11.5. He is as usual involved in a fight with his main opposition in his class, Richard Leeke in a Ford Fiesta R2. He is 4:18.2 behind the leader.
Fourth is another R2 competitor, AC Potgieter +4:39.6 followed by Chris Coertse also in a R2 car +7:24.5.
The cars will overnight in Sabie tonight after the seven stages have been run and restart again there tomorrow morning. The event will end in Sabie tomorrow afternoon.
It is being organised by the SAM South African Motorsport Club with Willie van Niekerk as CoC.
Altogether 25 cars started this morning and so far there has been five withdrawals.
All the times are provisional.