THE Volkswagen Rally 2013, round four of the South African National Rally Championship, takes place on Friday and Saturday, July 19 and 20. The start is, as per tradition, at the Auto Pavilion in Uitenhage.
For two days national rally teams will roar through the stages on both gravel and tar as they seek to claim the Volkswagen Rally victory and add more points to their national championship.
“We are still in the process of finalising stages for the event this year,” says Joe Fourie, route director for the Volkswagen Rally. “There are 13 stages on the cards at this point, including a new stage at the Fountain’s Mall in Jeffreys Bay which will take place on Friday night – as well as a town stage, the final stage for Friday.”
“A new stage is also on the cards for Uitenhage, again a town stage starting from the Ocean Basket, which will bring the rally action right to the fans.”
Both the Jeffreys Bay and Uitenhage stages will be new for the competitors this year, with a third new stage planned for the Longmore Forest as well.
The final stage of the event, at Kings Beach, has also been re-designed and will be yet another new experience for both competitors and rally enthusiasts.
The battle this year will be between the Volkswagen, Toyota and Ford entries in the top-flight national S2000 category with competition expected to be the fiercest of any event this year. With the Volkswagen Rally marking the mid-season point of the championship, teams have worked out the niggles they might have experienced at the start of the season and are now in full attack mode as they aim for the best possible result.
Already the field has faced scorching temperatures at round one in KwaZulu-Natal, torrential rain and cancelled stages in Mpumalanga and dusty and cold conditions in Gauteng.
What waits for the national rally field in the Eastern Cape is a tough, highly competitive event that will demand every bit of dedication and skill if they want to be successful.