ONE MAKE SERIES ON THE CARDS FOR 1999 STANNIC NATIONAL RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
The introduction of a one make series to run as part of the Stannic National Rally Championship is on the cards for 1999.
Rally Management CC chief executive Arthur Abraham said today negotiations were currently underway with two manufacturers for the introduction of a one make series next season. Rally Management CC owns the rights to rallying in South Africa, with the national championship to again be sponsored by Stannic next year.
"The possible introduction of a one make series, similar to the Engen Polo Classic Cup in circuit racing, is high on the current agenda of projects aimed at further expanding the base of South African rallying," Abraham said. "The project has the blessing of the Motorsport SA Rally Commission, but we are negotiating with two manufacturers and see the new formula as an important step forward in attracting new blood into the sport.
"Both manufacturers have expressed an interest in the project, and we are hoping to iron out all the details in the near future."
Abraham added that the one make series would help complement the successful Group N category. "The introduction of the Group N category has been a major factor in the renaissance of South African rallying over the last two seasons," Abraham said.
"It is our view that the Group N category will in future form the backbone of the sport in this country. We also feel, however, that the introduction of a one make category will complement Group N and will offer huge potential for further growth."
Abraham added that contact had also been made with manufacturers currently not involved in South African rallying. This contact was aimed at obtaining additional factory and factory backed entries in the 1999 championship.
"We have had terrific support from Daewoo, Ford, Toyota and Volkswagen over the last two years and remain in close contact," Abraham said. "We have, however, submitted reports and proposals to BMW, Nissan, Renault, Hyundai, Opel and Honda.
"It is our hope that these reports and proposals will lead to increased factory and factory supported entries in both the Group A and Group N categories."