PRESSURE ON KZN CREWS IN STANNIC FLEET MANAGEMENT RALLY
The pressure will be on Natal crews in the Stannic Fleet Management Rally, round six of the Stannic National Rally Championship, on August 14 and 15.
And no one will feel the pressure more than reigning champions Jan Habig and Doug Judd, in the factory VW Golf, on a rally that breaks new ground in South Africa. Habig and Judd now trail six time champions Serge Damseaux and Vito Bonafede (Castrol Toyota Conquest, by one point in the drivers and co-drivers championships, and the Gauteng event could make or break their title hopes this season.
The Stannic Fleet Management Rally puts two other Natal crews Cliff Blackman and Johan Klaasen (Team Total Nissan Sentra) and Dean Sanders/Graham Hooper (Team Total Toyota Conquest) in much the same position in the Group N category. Blackman and Klaasen currently lie fifth in the overall championship and top the standings in Class N3.
The Team Total pair, however, are only five points ahead of former SA champion Hannes Grobler and Dave McGregor in the Bridgestone Nissan Sentra. For Sanders and Hooper, the position is event tighter.
Sanders and Hooper share 10th place in the overall championship with Cape crew Diffie Marais and Danie de Waal (Tony's Radiators Toyota Corolla). The two crews are also locked together at the top of Class N2 with young Cape driver Richard Behm only one point behind Marais and Sanders.
The Gauteng outing is also important for Craig Trott and Brian Duncan (Team Total Toyota Conquest) and Etienne Lourens and Robert Paisley in the Team Total Toyota Conquest in Class A8. Trott/Duncan are eighth in the overall championship and third in Class A6, while three non finishes in four outings has seen the highly regarded Lourens/Paisley combination drop out of the top 10 in the overall standings.
The event will start at Innesfree Park in the heart of Sandton at 12h30 on August 14. The special stage, a 2,19 kilometre tarmac stage, will start near the Grayston Road off ramp on the M1 and will provide plenty of lunch time entertainment with excellent spectator points and catering facilities.
Later in the afternoon the event will move to AA Kyalami and the Gerotek test facility near Pretoria West for six predominantly tarmac stages. Day one will finish at the Expo Centre at Nasrec with the first ever indoor special stage which will be run on a cement and paved surface in and around the giant Hall 5.
It will be the first time in the world that an indoor special stage has been used on a national championship event. There will be ample parking, catering and ablution facilities with the stage providing for great spectating and exciting motoring.
Day two of the Stannic Fleet Management Rally will start at AA Kyalami with a combined tarmac/dirt stage before the rally heads for Sentrarand, in the Bapsfontein area, for five dirt special stages ranging in length from 11 to 28 kilometres.
The Sentrarand special stages are within 20 kilometres of Springs and are ideally located for spectating from a central point. Catering facilities will also be available. A further five dirt special stages will then be run in the Delmas, Nigel and Springs area with all of them close to the N17, R29 and R42 road system. These special stages range in distance from four to 15 kilometres and also provide for excellent spectating with easy access to spectator vantage points.
The Stannic Fleet Management Rally will then head for the finish at the Expo Centre at Nasrec with a Super Special Stage - with two cars competing against each other at the same time on a figure of eight course - and an 800 metre "Dash for Cash" in Hall 5. The "Dash for Cash" stage will see R1 000 paid to the fastest crew in each class and with good parking, catering facilities and great vantage points will provide for a spectacular finale to the event.