Mountain Trial Rally Gains Additional Funding

BIG ENTRY FOR MOUNTAIN TRIAL The Mountain Trial on August 13 and 14, round four of the Stannic Rally Championship, has been given another boost. Following on additional funding for the event from Stannic, Sasol, SoBe Healthy Refreshment and ...

BIG ENTRY FOR MOUNTAIN TRIAL

The Mountain Trial on August 13 and 14, round four of the Stannic Rally Championship, has been given another boost.

Following on additional funding for the event from Stannic, Sasol, SoBe Healthy Refreshment and Volkswagen, a total of 42 cars have entered an event which earned itself a fearsome reputation when it was a regular feature on the national calendar. Often described as a co-drivers nightmare, the bulk of the event will be run on ultra fast public roads in the mountain regions surrounding Aliwal North and Barkly East.

The Mountain Trial will start in Bloemfontein on August 13 with four special stages within the vicinity of the Free State capital making up the first section of the event. Two of these will be all tar stages at the historic Brandkop racing circuit on the outskirts of Bloemfontein, with the first of these starting at 12h30.

The second Brandkop stage will start at 14h36 with cars then going through de-control formalities in preparation for the long transport stage to Aliwal North. The Mountain Trial will restart in Aliwal North with section two of the event kicking off with the traditional Riverbank special stage at 08h13.

Section two of the rally will then take crews from Aliwal North to Barkly East with two other gravel special stages on the itinerary. The second stage of the day, between Clanville and Heuningskloof, will be a long 41 kilometre haul with special stage three a 22 kilometre stage between Heuningskloof and Barkly East.

Section three of the event will start with a regroup at New England with crews then heading back to Aliwal North. Four gravel stages will make up the return run to Aliwal North and the final Riverbank stage.

Total distance on the Mountain Trial will be 504 kilometres with 196 kilometres of special stage distance. And, good news for co-drivers, is that the awesome Joubert's Pass special stage - around which the Mountain Trial earned much of its reputation - will be missing from the route schedule.

"Joubert's Pass has not been used by regular traffic for some time, and the road is in a state of disrepair," said clerk of the course Fred Vroomen. "We just did not have the time to get the road into shape for this event.

"It is a pity but the special stages between Aliwal North and Barkly East contain enough hairy sections to catch the attention of any competitor."

"TEAM EFFORT" PROVIDES EXTRA BACKING FOR MOUNTAIN TRIAL

A "team effort" has provided additional financial backing for the Mountain Trial, round four of the Stannic Rally Championship, on August 13 and 14.

Stannic, the series sponsor, have been joined by Sasol, SoBe Healthy Refreshment and Volkswagen in providing the Bloemfontein branch of the Sports Car Club, organisers of the event, with additional funding. With clerk of the course Fred Vroomen and his team operating thus far on a shoestring budget, the extra financial support has come as a lifeline for the organisers.

"The additional money has come as an absolute blessing, and we are grateful to Stannic, Sasol, SoBe and VW for their contribution," Vroomen said. "We have been out of the mainstream of national rallying for a year or two, and in organising an event of this nature we came up with a number of hidden costs.

"The extra sponsorship has enabled us to meet these extra commitments and we are looking forward to putting on a really good event that lives up to the traditions of the Mountain Trial of old."

Rally Management CC general manager Charmaine Fortune said the additional contributions from Stannic, Sasol, SoBe and Volkswagen were indicative of the spirit that existed in South African rallying. The Bloemfontein branch of the SCC had been helped out of a difficult financial predicament, with the additional sponsorship contributing towards an improved event.

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