Brian Joss –
Rally fans can look forward to an exciting Volkswagen Rally on Friday and Saturday July 17 and 18, in Port Elizabeth and surrounds. The 2015 event features 12 stages of competition, with the layout of the event designed to keep the action as close to the fans as possible.
For motorsport fans wanting to get involved as early as possible, the scrutineering function on Thursday evening before the rally presents the perfect opportunity. The venue is Tavcor Volkswagen on the William Moffett Expressway. Scrutineering has been revamped for 2015 and will allow fans to see the cars, meet the drivers and navigators, get posters signed and also enter a competition.
A wheel-changing competition is being organised for rally fans attenting the scrutineering event – the winners of which will be treated to a VIP VW Rally experience at the Volkswagen Rally.
“The VW Rally is going to be more challenging and also much more spectator friendly,” says Joe Fourie, route organiser of the event. “There is less driving around for the rally fans and there is also spectating on every single stage of the event. A great deal of work has gone into making this rally the most accessible event yet.”
Auto Pavilion at Volkswagen in Uitenhage is the start of the Volkswagen Rally at midday as usual – with free entry for rally fans who can spend time exploring the interactive layout and also getting to know the teams. From there the action moves to stage one – the Motherwell stage at 12.24 with stage two at Jachtvlakte starting at 1.15pm
Stage three sees the teams head to Mission Road at 2.03pm and rally fans can spectate this stage at Port Elizabeth Oval Track Raceway. Stage four sees a return to Jachtvlakte starting at 3.34pm. Stage five is another repeat, this time the Motherwell stage which starts at 4.30pm.
The final stage for Friday is at Aldo Scribante Raceway where Volkswagen Rally competitors will face a challenging tar and gravel stage starting around sunset (5.30pm).
“As sponsors we have worked closely with the Volkswagen Rally organisers to ensure this event is easily accessible to the general public – not just hardcore fans, but for anyone who enjoys action and cars,” says Mike Rowe, Volkswagen’s Motorsport Manager. “Less driving, plenty of spectating options at the stages and stages run more than once. All of these combine to make it as easy for spectators as possible.”
Saturday mo starts with an early stage at Buffelshoek farm from 7.44am after which the Volkswagen Rally field heads to the Longmore Forest for the Sinkdam stage at 8.38am. Stage nine sends the competitors to Mission Road – initially used as stage three on Friday – to rally from 9:34am before they return to the forest for stage 10, the PPC Ultimate stage.
Stages 11 and 12 are super special stages which means spectators can look forward to watching two cars in action on the stage simultaneously – and both of these stages take place at PEOTR, rounding off the Volkswagen Rally with maximum action.
“Greater accessibility to the event means more opportunities to see the rally cars in action,” says Fourie. “This will provide good spectating but rally fans should still plan their spectating and choose which stages they would like to see. It will not be possible to see the cars at every single stage and all plans should include travel time to avoid rushing from one point to the next.”