UP, UP AND AWAY!: Volkswagen works driver Henk Lategan and navigator Barry White get some air at a recent National Rally Championship event. Image: Volkswagen
PORT ELIZABETH, Eastern Cape - Motorsport fans can look forward to an exciting Volkswagen Rally over Friday and Saturday, July 17-18, near Port Elizabeth.
The 2015 event will have 12 competition stages with the layout of the event designed to keep the action as close to the fans as possible.
Scrutineering on Thursday (July 16) evening is a perfect opportunity for folk who want to get involved early . The venue will be Tavcor VW on the William Moffett Expressway. Scrutineering has been revamped for 2015 and will allow fans to see the cars, meet the drivers and navigators, have posters signed and enter a competition.
A wheel-changing competition is being organised for rally fans during scrutineering - the winners will be treated to a VIP VW Rally experience.
Route organiser Joe Fourie said: "The VW Rally will be more challenging and much more spectator-friendly with less driving around for the fans. There are spectator points on every stage.
"A great deal of work has gone into making this rally the most accessible event yet."
The rally will start at VW's Auto Pavilion in Uitenhage at midday - with free entry for rally fans who can spend time exploring the interactive layout and meeting the teams. From there the action will move to Stage 1 - Motherwell - at 12.24pm with Stage 2 at Jachtvlakte from 1.15pm
Stage 3 will head to Mission Road at 2.03pm and fans can watch this stage at Port Elizabeth Oval Track Raceway. Stage 4 will be back at Jachtvlakte from 3.34pm. Stage 5 will be a repeat from Motherwell from 4.30pm.
The final stage for Friday (July 17) will be at Aldo Scribante Raceway where the competitors will face a challenging tar and gravel stage at sunset (5.30pm).
Mike Rowe, VW Motorsport manager said: "As sponsors we have worked closely with the Volkswagen Rally organisers to ensure this event is easily accessible to the general public - not just hardcore fans, but for anyone who enjoys action and cars.
"Less driving, plenty of spectating options at the stages and stages run more than once. All of these combine to make it as easy for spectators as possible."
Saturday will start at Buffelshoek farm from 7.44am then head to the Longmore Forest for the Sinkdam stage at 8.38am. Stage 9 will send the competitors to Mission Road - initially used as Stage 3 on Friday - from 9.34am before they return to the forest for Stage 10.
Stages 11 and 12 will be super-special stages - two cars in action on the stage simultaneously - at the oval track.
TURNING THE CORNER? Can two-times SA rally champions Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries (above) earn their first podium of the season at their home event? Image: Volkswagen