According to organiser Dave Morgan there are, and have been, similar platforms in the past, but on a much smaller scale.
"These regional events were generally targeted at the racing fraternity, and certainly did not include public audience participation, nor were they commercially driven" he says.
Morgan claims the organising committee of the 'Fireball Series of Events' is the most professional team which could be sourced.
"In 2004, they set out against all odds, to produce the impossible, and achieved beyond all expectations," he said.
"They did what they said they would, showing strength of conviction, and tenacity! We have once again grown in leaps and bounds since the run of 2004. Certain members of the original committee have fallen away, while new and dynamic members have enlisted their expertise."
Morgan says the justification for the Run is to take the show to the people, and get them involved!
He says regionally-bound shows are selfish, and are short-term solutions.
"There is no single regional zone (i.e. Gauteng), with potentially more enthusiasm for motor sport than the balance of the country. This racing organisational mindset is only tapped on a habitual basis, because of the high density of available population, and 'Gate' potential" he adds.
"There is also a lack of decent National promotional platforms. A simple 'Multiplication of Effort' exercise will expose a vast, untapped National market, waiting to be nurtured, entertained, and spoilt."
Morgan says the focus of the race is to position the annual 'Fireball Run Series' of events as the only national roadshow to present a 'Premier Executive Sports Car and Superbike Showcase' in a racing arena, attracting spectators and consumers, supported by a marketing brand related exhibition of relative automotive products and services.
"We quite simply achieve this by appealing to the intrigue of, and material appetite of consumers and want-to-be consumers, by way of a spectacular day of racing," he says.
"The 'Fireball Run 2004' exposed a lucrative niche in the marketplace, and showed us that our vision for the growth of the 'Fireball Experience' was in fact, founded on sound and relatively simple principals.
"The 'Noble' for example, under the umbrella of Lazarus Motors, has successfully sold cars, and continues to sell cars, as a direct result of their participation in the 'Fireball Run 2004'. The return on their investment was staggering.
There are two aspects to the 'Fireball Series', and they are:
- Commercial promotional platform. Absolute awareness and promotional mileage secured for our sponsors and campaign partners, on a National and commercial promotional basis.
- Racing. The event, which introduces a full day of exotic racing cars and bikes on a National basis, is a platform upon which to stage a commercial venture of unequalled proportions. These contestants form the backbone of the entire event.
The 'Fireball Run' is a 'Time Trial' event, producing overall winners in a multitude specific classes, by taking the best of three laps at any given racing circuit or special stage, and scoring the aggregate thereof.
"We must however realise that it is street legal event, while in transit between special stages, on all National, Regional and Municipal roads. The actual racing takes place on National race circuits, or special racing stages designed for the purpose," says Morgan.
There are 50 Racing cars and 50 Superbikes entered in different classes, depending on the performance capabilities and engine capacity.
All contestants are expected to have some degree of racing experience, either at a professional or club level, and must be in possession of a recognised MSA 'Competition Licence'.
Each racing car may have a passenger / navigator, while the bikes only require a rider. All car and bike owners must drive their machines on all public roads between venues, and are not allowed to trailer them without penalties being imposed.
The entire event is controlled by strict 'Rules and Regulations' as found <a href=http://www.wheels24.co.za/Wheels24/Fireball/0,,1369-1658_1702072,00.html target=_blank class=elevenred> here</a>.
These rules were initially formulated by Tony Taylor, based on the existing 'Motorsport South Africa' handbook, and must be seen as a work-in-progress. They will be revised and edited over the next few years, as additional situations and issues arise, and constructive disputes are successfully arbitrated.
The racing disciplines which have been included are as follows:
- Track events.
- Hill climbs.
- Mountain passes.
- Drag racing.
- Top end runs.
The 'Fireball Run' event, has been sanctioned by the following automotive controlling bodies:
- Motorsport South Africa.
- The Department of Transport and the South African National Roads Agency.
- All the Provincial Traffic Departments en route.
- All the Municipal Traffic Departments en route.
- All the Metro Traffic Departments en route.
"Although competitors take this event very seriously, we must never forget the 'Fun' aspect attached," says Morgan. "It is a fellowship and comaraderie of self minded individuals and teams.
The 'Fireball Series' follows a different route for 2005 (and every other year), although this may still include some of the centres visited during previous events. The new route for 2005will incorporate the following places"
- East London.
- Port Elizabeth.
- Cape Town.
- All the smaller towns in between.
All contestants are expected to arrive at their hotel on Saturday afternoon, October 8 2005. The race will be run from Sunday October 9, and will finish on Sunday October 16. The actual 'Schedule of Events' will be supplied upon arrival at the hotel, and will be placed in the hotel suites.
The 'Prize Giving' will be after the day of racing, and will be during the evening of Sunday October 16. Contestants may depart directly after the prize giving, or on Monday morning, October 17.
This event has also been planned to coincide with the 'Annual Porsche Run', which starts during the week after the Fireball Run in Cape Town. "All those Porsche fanatics can enjoy two glorious weeks of sun and machine," says Morgan
Although not provisionally confirmed at all the racing circuits and special disciplines, the actual dates for the 'Fireball Run 2005' will be as follows:
Saturday. 8 October
Arrive in Johannesburg, and the 'Welcome Dinner'. Stopover in Johannesburg. Competitors are asked to arrive early enough to attach racing stickers, and make final preparations and adjustments. There will be scrutineering for early arrivals between 14H00 and 17H00, at Wesbank Raceway.
Sunday. 9 October
Racing at Wesbank Raceway in Germiston, Johannesburg, after which competitors head off toward Durban. Stopover in Estcourt. Scrutineering will be in the morning from 07H00 for late arrivals.
Monday. 10 October
Racing in Durban, and stopover in Durban. Race circuit TBA.
Tuesday. 11 October
This is essentially a day off. All contestants will depart from Durban after breakfast, and head off to East London, via the old Transkei. There will be a 'Social' braai in Port St Johns. Stopover in East London.
Wednesday. 12 October
Racing in East London on the old Formula 1 circuit, after which competitors will depart for Port Elizabeth via Port Alfred for mid afternoon snacks. Stopover in Port Elizabeth.
Thursday. 13 October
Racing in Port Elizabeth at Aldo Scribante Raceway, after which competitors depart for George. Stopover in George.
Friday. 14 October
Race in George on a specially designed 'Street Track' in the city centre, after which competiotors depart for Paarl. Stopover in Paarl.
Saturday. 15 October
Depart for a 'Hillclimb' in the Western Cape area early in the morning, where breakfast will be catered for. Dave Morgan and Ashley Landman from Investment Cars in Cape Town are working on the venue, and will inform all contestants as soon as a suitably testing circuit has been secured. Stopover in Cape Town after the event.
Sunday. 16 October
Head for Killarney raceway in Cape Town after breakfast. 'Prize Giving will be held in the evening, at the Grand West Casino. This is 'officially' the end of the event.
All contestants will head off for their cities of origin after dinner, or the next morning.
"Those 'Porsche' guys wishing to remain in Cape Town for registration on Wednesday October 19 for the 'Annual Porsche Run' being held in there, must inform us, and we will ensure that we secure favourable hotel rates for your extended stay," says Morgan.
"This additional expense will naturally be for the account of those contestants staying behind."
"During the run of 2004, we only introduced 'Executive Thoroughbreds' and 'Modified' cars," adds Morgan.
"During the 'Fireball Run 2005' we are to introduce 'Superbikes', 'Supersport' bikes, and the 'Battle of the Twins' classes for the first time.
"This will be an exceptionally exciting development to watch, and should assist in drawing additional spectators. The 'Result Reading' on our website should prove to be a hot favourite.
"Our charity will still favour abused women and children, but will have the additional incentive of supporting the various MSA 'Marshals Associations' around the country.
This fund is for assisting those marshals in times of unforeseen financial trouble. They are the true unsung heroes of our racing entertainment. Their donations will come from a percentage of the gate money taken, and donations.