EAT MY DUST: Giniel de Villiers and Greg Godrich are set to take on the 2014 Cullinin Rally on August 15. Image: Supplied by Charmaine Fortune
CULLINAN, Pretoria - The 2014 Cullinan Rally, round five of the SA National Rally Championship, will feature three new special stages, out of a total of 12, over the two-day event.
The rally will start from the Zonderwater Correctional Services facility north-east of Pretoria on August 15.
There will be six special stages on Friday (August 15) covering 78km of mostly farm roads in the Cullinan area.
OPENING SPECIAL STAGE
The first car, the four-wheel drive Volkswagen Polo of Henk Lategan and Barry White will depart the ceremonial start ramp at Zonderwater Correctional Services at 11am and will get the event proper underway at 11.10am on a 8.2km opening special stage.
The first of the day’s three compulsory service stops on the Zonderwater cricket field will follow stage one and will allow competitors 20mins to attend to any problems or adjustments that might be needed.
Stage two is a longer version of stage one – 16.2km – in the same area and is followed by the shortest stage of the day – 5.27km.
Stage three is new and will present competitors with a tight and technical test that also includes one longer straight. A 30-minute service stop precedes stages four and five, both new and incorporating farmyards that are some 30km east of Zonderwater in the direction of Bronkhorstspruit.
They are 17.95km and 15.18km in length.
The final stage on Friday is in the Ekandustria area, 17km from Zonderwater, and covers a distance of 14.95km. Competitors will then return to rally headquarters and the designated service area for a final 45-minute service before being impounded in the parc ferme for the night.
Clerk of the course Willie du Plessis said: “We’ve managed to achieve a compact day’s special stage rallying on excellent gravel roads that will afford spectators good opportunities to see the cars in action from safe vantage points without having to travel great distances.
“The same six special stages will make up Saturday’s action (with stage seven starting from Zonderwater at 9am), with a single 30-minute service stop after stage nine (a repeat of stage three at Zonderwater).
The leading car on the road is expected at the service stop at 10.38am and rally fans can expect a lot of action in the pits after the competitors have all had to survive three special stages and nearly 30km of high-speed rallying without any assistance from their service crews over road surfaces that will be a lot softer than they were during Friday’s first run through the route.
“I think we have another good, tough test of the country’s top rally crews after our successful inaugural Cullinan Rally in 2013. It’s been very dry in the area lately as the Highveld winter comes to an end, so dust will be a problem.
“There are over 155km of timed special stages to keep them honest and a total rally distance of 380km or so including the liaison sections.”
The first car is expected to start the final stage (a repeat of stage six) at 1pm. The TV podium ceremony and champagne spraying for the Imperial Toyota Cullinan Rally will take place at around 4pm.