Stannic National Rally Championship stories

TELEVISION TREAT FOR RALLY FANS Rally enthusiasts are in for a treat over the next few weeks with extensive coverage of Stannic National Rally Championship events. Highlights of the recent Volkswagen Rally, round five of the...

TELEVISION TREAT FOR RALLY FANS

Rally enthusiasts are in for a treat over the next few weeks with extensive coverage of Stannic National Rally Championship events.

Highlights of the recent Volkswagen Rally, round five of the championship, will be screened on the M-Net Supersport main channel at 12h00 on Saturday, August 1. The programme will also be rebroadcast on Supersprt CSN at 22h00 on August 7 and again on Supersport AM.

This will be followed by extensive coverage of the Stannic Fleet Management Rally on August 14 and 15, round six of the championship, which breaks new ground in world and South African rallying. The event will feature same day coverage on Supersport CSN at 22:00 on Friday, August 14 with a 15 minute highlights package of special stage seven at the Expo Centre at Nasrec.

This is a world first with the special stage run indoors. It is the first time in the world that a special stage will be run indoors on a national championship rally.

On Saturday, August 15 there will also be 15 minute highlights programme of the Super Special Stage and 'Dash for Cash' special stage also run at the Expo Centre at 21:00 on Supersport CSN. Edited highlights of the entire Stannic Fleet Management Rally will be broadcast on the Supersport main channel at 12h00 on 2 August with repeats on Supersport CSN at 17:30 on 25 August and again on Supersport AM.

Supersport reserves the right to reschedule the broadcast times of programmes.

GROUP N CREWS FEATURE WELL IN STANNIC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP

Group N crews continue to figure prominently in the top 10 in the Stannic National Rally Championship.

Following the Volkswagen Rally, round five of the Stannic National Rally Championship, four Group N crews feature in the overall drivers and co-drivers championships. The Group N contingent have also consistently provided top 10 finishers in all five events run so far this season.

Sixth place on the Volkswagen Rally - giving them their first overall Group N and Class N3 win - has lifted Cliff Blackman and Johan Klaasen (Team Total Nissan Sentra) ahead of Hannes Grobler and Dave McGregor (Bridgestone Nissan Sentra) on the championship table. They are fifth with Grobler and McGregor, hit by a non finish on the Volkswagen Rally, five points behind the Natalians in the overall and Class N3 championship.

"The law of averages finally caught up with us after three wins on the trot," said McGregor. "It was very disappointing because we were looking forward to another good fight with Cliff and Johan. "The continuous fuel pressure problems we have experienced throughout the season is now a major headache for us."

Two other Group N teams - Capetonians Diffie Marais and Danie de Waal (Tony's Radiators Toyota Corolla) and Natalians Dean Sanders and Graham Hooper (Team Total Toyota Conquest) - share 10th place in the overall championship and are level pegging in the Class N2 stakes. With the two crews locked together on 53 points, theirs will be an interesting confrontation in the remaining events of the season.

Also on the fringes of the top 10 in the drivers championship is Cape Town Youngster Richard Behm in the Palbin Opel Corsa. In his first full season of national rallying, Behm is 11th in the drivers championship - and over the last two events has been accompanied by experienced co-drivers in former South African champion Martin Botha and Thilo von Westernhagen. WORLD FIRST FOR STANNIC FLEET MANAGEMENT RALLY

The Stannic Fleet Management Rally on August 14 and 15, round six of the Stannic National Rally Championship, will provide a world first for rallying and will also break other new ground in the sport in this country.

The opening day of the event will see a world first with the running of an indoor special stage at the Expo Centre at Nasrec. The 1,5 kilometre special stage will be run on a cement and paved surface in Hall 5 and will incorporate a short loop on access roads outside the giant hall.

A bold innovation by Rally Management CC, which owns the rights to rallying in South Africa, and organising club, the East Rand branch of the Sports Car Club, the indoor stage should provide for some spectacular rallying. The stage will also provide for plenty of entertainment for rally enthusiasts, with food and drink also on sale at what is likely to turn into a festive occasion.

The Expo Centre at Nasrec will also be the venue for a Super Special Stage - with two cars on a figure of eight course at the same time - on day two of the Stannic Fleet Management Rally. A 'Dash for Cash' special stage - in Hall 5 - immediately after the completion of the Super Special Stage is also a first for rallying in South Africa.

The 'Dash for Cash' will be run over an 800 metre course with R1 000 paid to the fastest crew in each class. Once again the stage will provide for plenty of entertainment with ample catering, parking and ablution facilities for motorsport enthusiasts.

"Stannic, Rally Management CC and the MSA National Rally Commission are determined to go through with a policy of bringing rallying to the people," said Rally Management chief CC executive Arthur Abraham. "We need to expose rallying to a wide audience and the Stannic Fleet Management Rally is designed to do just that.

"It is important that rallying in South Africa reaches as many possible new converts as we can manage. By being innovative and by running the event in the heart or the vicinity of major metropolitan areas in Gauteng, we can reach that audience and show people just what an exciting and spectacular sport rallying can be."

STANNIC FLEET MANAGEMENT RALLY COULD HERALD A NEW ERA IN RALLYING

The Stannic Fleet Management Rally on August 14 and 15 could herald a new era for rallying in South Africa.

The route for the event, round six of the Stannic National Rally Championship, is the most innovative and challenging finalised for a South African championship event in more than a decade. With innovation coming to the fore, the Stannic Fleet Management Rally could change the face of rallying in South Africa in the future.

The event, round six of the Stannic National Rally Championship, never strays far from major metropolitan areas in Gauteng and includes a world first indoor special stage at the Expo Centre at Nasrec. An indoor 'Dash for Cash' special stage at Nasrec is also a first for South African rallying with the Stannic Fleet Management Rally combining a number of tarmac special stages with stages run on dirt in more traditional rally areas.

Organising club, the East Rand Branch of the Sports Club, has worked closely with Rally Management CC - which owns the rights to rallying in South Africa - and the MSA National Rally Commission in coming up with what is a revolutionary concept in South African rallying. Sandton, Midrand, Pretoria, Pretoria West and Bapsfontein, Delmas, Nigel and Springs on the East Rand are some of the metropolitan areas which will be utilised on the Stannic Fleet Management Rally to bring the sport "closer to the people."

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, the Gerotek test facility near Pretoria West and Zwartkops 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.

Documentation and scrutineering for the Stannic Fleet Management Rally will be at AA Kyalami with regulations and other information available on the Stannic Rally website at http://www.stannicrally.co.za.

WATERFRONT TO PLAY IMPORTANT ROLE ON AGIP RALLY

Cape Town's popular Waterfront area will play a central role on the Agip Rally, round seven of the Stannic National Rally Championship, in the Western Cape on September 18 and 19.

Organised by the Cape Peninsula Car and Motorcycle and Car Club, the Agip Rally places a major emphasis on spectator special stages on the opening day. The event starts in the heart of the Waterfront which will be the venue for the first special stage on the rally.

This will be a Super Special Stage - with the concept hugely popular on other events on the Stannic national calendar - on a specially constructed course with two cars running against each other at the same time. Special stage two will be run at the Killarney motor racing circuit with rallying in the Western Cape breaking new ground with special stage five a Super Special at the Milnerton Turf Club.

The last of six special stages on day one will see competitors return to the Waterfront. The restart on Saturday, September 19 will also be at the Waterfront before the rally heads for a series of special stages in traditional rally country in the Swartland.

Special stages on day two will be run in the Malmesbury and Moorreesberg areas prior to a lunch break. Later in the day special stages will be run in Bridgetown along with the popular Malmesbury town stage, with the event ending back at the Waterfront in Cape Town.

"In keeping with the Stannic National Rally Championship concept of bringing rallying to the people, we have come up with what is a spectator friendly event," said clerk of the course Robert Marle. "The activity centred around the Waterfront is a major plus factor and we have had tremendous co-operation from management at the Waterfront.

"Crowd control and safe spectating at the Waterfront stages and at the other spectator stages will be a priority for us, but we don' expect any hitches in this respect. The combination of spectator stages in and around Cape Town, along with the sortie into the Swartland is going to provide for an interesting and challenging rally."

Arthur Abraham, chief executive of Rally Management CC, which owns the rights to the South African Rally Championship, said the increasing use of metropolitan areas on national championship events was crucial to the future of rallying. "We have to expose rallying to a wider audience, and making use of metropolitan areas is one way of achieving this," Abraham said.

"Rallying is a highly spectacular and exciting sport, and by taking events to the people we hope to entice the competitors and rally converts who are vital to the growth of the sport in the future. A wider audience is also important if we are to attract and keep sponsors who hold the key to the economic future of rallying."

VISIT THE STANNIC RALLY WEBSITE AT www.stannicrally.co.za.

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