Porsche pair hold firm with just one day to Cape Town finish

| 28 Jan 2012

With just one day to go after nearly a month of rallying from London to Cape Town, the classic field is still being dominated by a brace of Porsches.

In third place overall, with nearly an hour and a half more penalties than the second-placed car but half an hour fewer than fourth, is car 45, the 1973 911 of Joost van Cauwenberge and Jacques Castelein.

Up to sixth overall is the 1968 912, car 35, being campaigned by Alastair Caldwell and Hayden Burvill.

Next best-placed pre-1980 classic is Richard Atherton and Rob Henchoz's 1970 Volvo 144, car number 1.

For those who have been following the plucky crew of James and Max Stephenson in the Vauxhall OD 23-60, the Aussie pairing are in 32nd and still running, but with a full day and six hours more penalties than the front-runners.

The Youngtimer 1986 MG Maestro crewed by Jane Edgington and Gillian Cotton is ploughing on in 8th, but with more than four and a half hours of deficit after more dramas. Yesterday they lost a further 10 minutes after sliding off the road Namibia where tyre choices proved critical.

The testing conditions forced Caldwell to rig up a makeshift air-bucket for his 912 to help the air-cooled engine cope with the searing heat and dust.

The top two, though both modern, are playing out an astonishing battle with the leading Toyota Hilux of Andy Actman and Andy Elcomb on 1hr 18mins 20 secs of penalties, amazingly just over a minute fewer than the second-placed Subaru Impreza of Steve Blunt and Bob Duck.

The final day is going to be extremely gripping, with one small mistake likely to decide the winner.