Entries are finalised and just a few details still need sorting out, so it is “all systems go” for Volkswagen Rally 2013. Friday and Saturday, 19 and 20 July, will see the national rally teams descend on the Eastern Cape for this popular event on the national calendar.
“It has been a bit trickier to get everything done this year,” says route organiser Joe Fourie. “We’ve been ambitious in our planning and have two stages in Jeffreys Bay, a Longmore Forest stage and a redesigned Kings Beach stage for rally fans to look forward too.”
The event is organised every year by the Algoa Rally Association with sponsorship from Volkswagen. This relationship has ensured the successful running of the event with 2013 marking 31 years of the Volkswagen Rally.
The rally begins at Auto Pavilion in Uitenhage on Friday when the cars leave from the ceremonial start at midday. Before this the vehicles will be held in parc ferme at the Auto Pavilion parking lot and fans can mingle with the team, see the cars up close and take photos with their favourite rally competitors.
“Keeping the rally as close to the people of the Eastern Cape is a primary goal every year,” says Fourie. “Stage planning and routes all factor in that one important aspect so we can have as many motorsport enthusiasts supporting the rally as possible.”
For 2013 the first stage takes place just around the corner at Volkswagen’s own vehicle test track, close to the new People Pavilion complex. That stage starts at 12:15 with the rally field heading out to the Longmore Forest for stages two to five. Stage six is at Fountain’s Mall in Jeffreys Bay at 16:54 with the final stage for Friday in the centre of the town at 19:00.
“Anyone not able to get out to the Longmore Forest on Friday will have three chances to see the rally cars. The first in Uitenhage and again at the final two stages of the day in Jeffreys Bay,” says Fourie. “On Saturday the Kings Beach finale will be very exciting. While a short tar stage, we’ve designed it to be a dramatic finish to the Volkswagen Rally and it will be quite a challenge for the competitors.”
Fourie has indicated that the Longmore Forest spectating on Saturday has been laid out to make the trip to see the gravel stages as rewarding as possible.
“Five stages on Saturday in the Longmore Forest, all in relatively close proximity to one another will keep fans entertained. There is minimal driving required between the various spectator points, but we urge caution on the gravel roads and fans should be going to see the action, not to be the action on the event.”