Mpumalanga: Off-Road Expos

Rally vehicles are old hat to Mpumalanga motorsport enthusiasts who will be exposed to a new culture on the Toyota Dealer 400, round five of the SA Off-Road Championship, sponsored by Bankfin, the specialist vehicle finance division of Absa Bank,...

Rally vehicles are old hat to Mpumalanga motorsport enthusiasts who will be exposed to a new culture on the Toyota Dealer 400, round five of the SA Off-Road Championship, sponsored by Bankfin, the specialist vehicle finance division of Absa Bank, on August 23 and 24.

Mpumalanga annually hosts the Sasol Rally, a round of the national rally championship, with the event attracting huge support from local enthusiasts. Now the Toyota Dealer 400 will give Mpumalanga motorsport fans the opportunity to see pukka off-road machinery in action.

Enthusiasts will also be able to get a close look at vehicles and chat to drivers, co-drivers and technical personnel at two Bankfin Expos in Nelspruit and White River. Cars competing in both the Production Vehicle and Special Vehicle categories of the Bankfin Off Road Championship will be on view at Imperial Toyota in Nelspruit and at NTT Toyota in White River.

Vehicles will be on display at documentation formalities for crews at Imperial Toyota from 16h00 to 21h00 on Thursday, August 22 and at NTT Toyota from 16:00 to 21:00 on Thursday, August 22 and from 08h00 to 12h00 on Friday, August 23. This will provide local fans with the ideal opportunity to run a critical eye over some exotic and hi-tech machinery.

Jointly organised by the MSA Off-Road Car Racing Commission and the South African Motorsport Club (SAM), the event breaks new ground for off-road racing in South Africa. SAM organises the Sasol Rally and the co-operation between rally and off-road disciplines is a first for South Africa.

"The hi-tech Class T Supertrucks in the Production Vehicle category, and the space frame cars that run in Class A in the Special Vehicle category should attract a great deal of interest," said clerk of the course Piet Swanepoel. A former rally and off-road national champion, Swanepoel is the reigning FIA Africa Rally co-drivers champion and is also president of the MSA Off-Road Car Racing Commission.

"This is the first time Mpumalanga enthusiasts have been exposed to a fully fledged off-road race, and given the interest shown in the Sasol Rally we are expecting a massive turnout of fans," said Swanepoel. "Some of the machinery that will be in action is awesome, and I don't think anyone is going to be disappointed with the action that will be on offer.

"The potential is there for this event to become a showcase for off-road racing, and it is going to be an interesting weekend."

Spectator guides and other race information will be available at both Imperial Toyota in Nelspruit, and at NTT Toyota in White River. Proceedings will open with a prologue on Friday, August 23 to determine start positions for racing section two on August 24.

Bankfin, if it moves, we'll finance it.

-msa

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Series Other rally