Volkswagen Rally Postponed Due to Fire Hazard

VOLKSWAGEN RALLY POSTPONED DUE TO FIRE HAZARD IN THE SAFCOL LONGMORE FOREST The Volkswagen Rally on July 18 and 19, round four of the Stannic Rally Championship, has been postponed because of a fire hazard in the Safcol Longmore Forest in the...

VOLKSWAGEN RALLY POSTPONED DUE TO FIRE HAZARD IN THE SAFCOL LONGMORE FOREST The Volkswagen Rally on July 18 and 19, round four of the Stannic Rally Championship, has been postponed because of a fire hazard in the Safcol Longmore Forest in the Eastern Cape.

The decision to postpone the event - which will be run later in the season - was taken following the witholding of permission granted to the organisers, the Algoa Motorsport Club, by the Eastern Cape Forest Department to use the Longmore Forest as part of the rally route. With the Eastern Cape in the throes of a mini drought there is a fire hazard warning in the Longmore Forest.

"The permission to use the Longmore Forest has been withheld and not withdrawn," said organising committee chairman Joe Fourie. "With the dry conditions that currently exist in the Eastern Cape, we fully understand the decision by the authorities.

"At this late stage it is just not possible to find alternatives to the Longmore Forest special stages, and we were forced to ask the Motorsport South Africa Rally Commission to ratify a request for a postponement to later in the year."

MSA Rally Commission President Diether Kok said the commission, with the support of Motorsport South Africa and Volkswagen, sponsors of the event, had granted the request by the Algoa Motorsport Club for a postponement. "It is an unfortunate state of affairs but we also understand the position taken by the authorities in respect of the fire hazard in the Longmore Forest," Kok said.

"The MSA Rally Commission would not do anything to jeopardise the good relationship we have with forestry officials throughout South Africa. We also understand the position in which the club finds itself, and agree that a postponement is a better option than an event hastily put together and which does not meet the high standards set by the Stannic Rally Championship."

Kok added that the MSA Rally Commission, in conjunction with MSA, Algoa Motorsport Club, Volkswagen and Stannic have agreed that the event will now run on October 1 and 2 and emphasised that the championship will be run over the full complement of eight events.

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