Mountain Trial Route Takes Shape

The route for the Mountain Trial on August 13 and 14, round five of the Stannic Rally Championship, is starting to take shape. Clerk of the course Fred Vroomen, from the Bloemfontein branch of the Sports Car Club, has completed preliminary...

The route for the Mountain Trial on August 13 and 14, round five of the Stannic Rally Championship, is starting to take shape.

Clerk of the course Fred Vroomen, from the Bloemfontein branch of the Sports Car Club, has completed preliminary route surveys and it already appears certain that crews are in for a daunting event. The Mountain Trial earned a fearsome reputation while it was part of the national championship up to 1996 and nothing has changed.

"At this stage it looks as though we will have total stage distance of around 190 kilometres," said Vroomen. "Most of the special stages we have earmarked have been used on previous Mountain Trials, including Joubert's Pass, and it is going to be a very fast event."

Day one of the Mountain Trial will be centred around Bloemfontein with two gravel and two tar stages. Both the tar stages will be run at the historic Brandkop race circuit with the gravel stages in close proximity to the Free State capital.

The long open section between Bloemfontein and Aliwal North, where day two of the event will start, will follow normal Mountain Trial procedure. This means cars will be taken by trailer to the restart with Joubert's Pass the first special stage on the agenda.

After four special stages there will be a refuel in Barkley East. Competitors will then head back towards Aliwal North with three special stages making up the final leg - with the last special stage the well known Riverbank on the outskirts of Aliwal North.

"At this stage there are no major problems, and it looks as though we will have a good event," said Vroomen. "We are also looking at an inverted start order for some of the day one special stages in and around Bloemfontein.

"Free State rally enthusiasts have been starved of national championship rallying, and we want to put on a good show for the locals."

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Series Other rally