Rally Management CC and Stannic have stepped into the breach to provide funding for the Pretoria Motor Club's rally which will be known as the Stannic Great North Rally and will be the final event of the Stannic National Rally Championship, on October 16 and 17.

This follows the decision by the Draper Group and Komatsu not to sponsor the event this year. Rally Management CC, which owns the rights to rallying in South Africa, will underwrite the event with assistance from Stannic.

"The withdrawal of the Draper and Komatsu sponsorship this year was not unexpected, and we had contingency plans in hand," said Rally Management CC chief executive Arthur Abraham. "Rally Management will underwrite the rally with assistance from Stannic and other contingency sponsors.

"The event has attracted a great deal of interest in the Northern Province and local businesses have come up with additional funding via special stage sponsorship and other contributions."

Abraham said the company was only too happy to join forces with Stannic and local business in the Northern Province to provide funding for the event. "The area is rapidly expanding and is commercially important to Stannic and to rallying," Abraham said.

"Stannic has a high profile in the region and the Stannic Great North Rally will further enhance the company's presence in the area. On top of that the overall championship and class titles are delicately balanced and these factors have generated a great deal of interest in what should be a tremendous finale to the season."

Organised by the Pretoria Motor Club the Stannic Great North Rally will be run exclusively in the Tzaneen area. The route survey has almost been completed with roads said to be in good condition.

"The withdrawal of sponsorship placed us in a bit of a predicament, but with the assurance from Rally Management CC that funding would be forthcoming we went ahead with all our preparations," said PMC president Vic Allaway. "We have again had tremendous co-operation from property owners in the region, and we have the makings of a tremendous event.

"Roads are in good condition and with championship issues still to be settled the route will be a good test of man and machinery."

Only two championship issues - the Class A6 and Class A7 titles - have so far been decided this season. The overall drivers and co-drivers championship, the Class A8 championship and all Group N category titles will be decided on the Stannic Great North Rally.

Reigning champions Jan Habig and Douglas Judd, in the factory VW Golf, currently lead the championship standings. They are followed by Class A7 champions Tjaart van der Walt and Cindi Harding (7 Eleven VW Golf), Class A6 champions Hergen Fekken and Dave Lewkowicz (Dunair Toyota Conquest) and six times champions Serge Damseaux and Vito Bonafede (Castrol Toyota Conquest) with all four crews in with a chance of winning the overall championship.