Unique South African rally may continue

The final curtain has not yet fallen on a rally championship unique to South Africa. The search by the Transvaal Motorcycle and Car Club for a sponsor for the Blind Navigators Rally Championship has failed, but the first event in a championship...

The final curtain has not yet fallen on a rally championship unique to South Africa.

The search by the Transvaal Motorcycle and Car Club for a sponsor for the Blind Navigators Rally Championship has failed, but the first event in a championship that has been running for 30 years will go ahead as planned on April 13. The search for a sponsor for the championship started late last year when Total South Africa withdrew backing for a series that is the only one of its kind in the world.

The TMCC, however, has not given up all hope of finding a sponsor for a series that runs on a budget of less than R50 000 a year. And so determined is the club that the championship will continue, that it is underwriting the April 13 event.

"We have not altogether given up the search, and are still hoping that someone will come forward even at this late stage," said TMCC stalwart Steve Solomon.

"The media throughout the country were terrific in helping us to try and find a replacement for Total, and although we had a few tentative approaches, nothing concrete emerged from talks we had with various organisations. If we are finally and irrevocably to pull the curtain down on the championship, it will be a tragedy for South African motorsport and the TMCC has taken a decision to underwrite the April 13 outing."

Solomon added that apart from the fact it was the only championship of its kind in the world, the Blind Navigators Rally Championship provided an outlet for disabled people who are passionate about the sport. The championship - made up of four events in Gauteng organised by the TMCC, and a Bloemfontein event run by the Bloemfontein branch of the Sports Car Club of South Africa - had brought a lot of pleasure to a great many people down the years.

"A number of top motorsport personalities -- from all categories of SA competition -- offer their services as drivers in the series, and Motorsport SA waive a championship naming rights fee," Solomon said. "It seems such a pity that for the want of R50 000 another era in South African motorsport might come to an end."

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Series Other rally