document : Habig Regains 3rd Position On 2012 SA Rally Championship Ladder

Habig Regains 3rd Position On 2012 SA Rally Championship Ladder
information supplied by: Jan Habig 09 October 2012

Jan Habig and Robert Paisley took back third position in the 2012 SA Rally Championship race after finishing in 7th position in the penultimate round of the Championship held in extremely hot and dusty conditions in Polokwane.
Habig chose the sixth starting position after the qualifying stage on Friday, and posted consistently quick times, running second for eleven of the thirteen special stages contested during the event.  Trailing Mark Cronje by 17 seconds at the end of Stage 2, Habig closed the gap a little further in Stage 3, bringing the deficit down to 13 seconds.  After the lunch break, Habig took a further 5 seconds and with a difference of only 8 seconds, the much anticipated battle between Gemmell and Cronje for overall honours, had a third campaigner.
The Basil Read Ford team lost some ground in the 5th stage, but stayed well clear of the two charging VW’s.  It was clear that there was a problem, and at the end of the first day, Habig said that they experienced a problem with the brake calliper and this impacted on the overall performance.  “At the speeds we travel on a special stage, you are extremely dependent on braking at the right time, and not too soon, as we are chasing split seconds,” Habig said.
With a short allocated service time, the technicians managed to make the necessary repairs and it was with renewed confidence that the crew started Day Two on Sunday morning, with only 50 stage kilometres for the day.    However, this was short-lived and it was soon evident that the Basil Read Ford had another problem.  This was confirmed by Habig after arriving very late at special stage 10.  With no service between the stages, Habig had to carry out emergency repairs on the side of the road.    The solenoid on the battery had cried enough, and this affected the car, causing them to lose valuable time to the charging Fekken and de Villiers.  Going into the penultimate stage, Habig put on a brave fight to bring the Ford to the finish.  But they say, bad luck comes in threes.  Going into the stage, the power steering belt came off, but  the experienced driver managed to finish the last stage.
“It is obviously very disappointing to be so close, yet so far,” said Jannie after the event.  “Fortunately, with the swopping of positions throughout the event, and the mishaps to some of the major contenders, we were able to take back our 3rd position from Jon Williams,” he added.
“This effectively puts us out of contention for the overall SA Championship with just one event remaining, but overall for Ford it has been an exceptionally good year, and I look forward to the Garden Route event, and maybe it can be a Ford 1, 2, 3,” he concluded.
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