VW Rally comes to the Kouga

KOUGA rally fans will get their share of the thrills and spills of the annual Volkswagen Rally on Friday and Saturday, when the cars pass through the Gamtoos Valley and the Longmore Forest.
“The event, round four of the 2012 national rally calendar, will see the top rally competitors from around the country in competition in Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and surrounds,” said Andile Dlamini, the public relations manager of the Volkswagen brand.
“The Volkswagen Rally is the only round of the South African national rally championship that takes place in the Eastern Cape, and it is one of the most popular events on the national calendar, both among rally competitors and spectators,” Dlamini said.
This year’s event marks the 30th running of the Volkswagen Rally which is organised by the Algoa Rally Association with sponsorship from Volkswagen. There will be 12 stages.
The rally teams will gather at Auto Pavilion in Uitenhage from 9am on Friday to do documentation. Fans have until midday to meet the teams, take photos and gather autographs – and also visit the Auto Pavilion at no charge. At midday the first car will pull off from the ceremonial start and head out to Melon in the Gamtoos area for stage one.
According to Dlamini stage one will get under way at 12.58pm after which the rally field will head to the Longmore Forest for stages two and three.
Stage four will be held at Port Elizabeth Oval Track Raceway (PEOTR), starting at 3.20pm before the field moves to the final stage for day one which takes place from 4.20pm at Winterhoek in Uitenhage. Here rally fans will see the cars in action on a stage where two cars will compete simultaneously against the clock. The action here will be a great way to finish off the day.
Saturday morning will see competitors head out to the Longmore Forest for two stages, starting at 8.23am, and then at 8.57am before returning to the terrain in Melon for a repeat of stage one which will be run as stage eight.
“Then it is back to the Longmore Forest for stages nine and 10 before the rally competitors head to PEOTR for stage 11, the penultimate stage for 2012. The finale will be at Kings Beach, a rally fan favourite.
“This last stage is not just for the rally cars or rally fans. A whole programme has been organised around this part of the event which will see many activities taking place long before the rally field arrive. These will start at 10.45am,” he said.
The fight for honours this year will be between the Volkswagen Polo rally cars and the entries from both Ford and Toyota. The top five in the championship at this point comprise entries from each of these brands with the Sasol Ford Fiesta of Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton leading the field and BP Volkswagen’s Hanjs Weijs Jnr and Björn Degandt rounding out the top five.

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