South African Rally Championship explodes into action in Gauteng

The exciting world of national championship special stage rallying comes to Gauteng next weekend (31 May and 1 June) when the third round of the South African Rally Championship raises dust among the mielie fields in the Bapsfontein area.

The Toyota Gauteng Dealer Rally, organised by the Pretoria Motor Club, will cover a total distance of some 350 kilometres, of which around 180 will consist of 10 timed gravel special stages, including the two Super Special stages.

The cream of South Africa’s rally crews will gather for a ceremonial start from the ultra modern Toyota Parts Distribution Warehouse off Atlas Road Boksburg on Friday with the first car due to be flagged away at 10h40. Competitors will then drive an open section to the start of the first of the day’s five special stages at the RallyStar Motorsport Academy near Bapsfontein. Day One’s action will finish at around 16h00 after the traditional RallyStar Super Special stage.

The action resumes on Saturday with a ceremonial start from the Toyota Parts Distribution Warehouse at 08h00 and will finish after another four gravel special stages and a repeat of the RallyStar Super Special from around 13h30. A podium prize-giving is scheduled for around 16h30.

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“We are sticking with the familiar stages we returned to last year and the rally will be compact, spectator friendly and very exciting,” said route director and chairman of the organising committee, Leon Botha, a former leading rally driver.

“The very popular RallyStar Super Special, where the cars race each other in pairs, has been prepared to be faster and more spectacular than ever. It is the final stage on both days.

“Because the rally is taking place earlier in the year than usual, competitors will encounter the typical ‘hand grenade’ quality mielies in the fields alongside the route, waiting for the unwary to take out their windscreens, mirrors and lights,” warned Botha. “Competitors are advised to stay on the road and not to take short cuts.”

Clerk of the Course John Ogden added, “Rally fans won’t get a better opportunity to see their heroes and heroines in action,” said Ogden. “All of the gravel stages are centered around and within easy reach of RallyStar, and there are a number of excellent, safe spectator points which are all easily accessible to the public.”

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