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Jun 11, 2014 - 06:22 AM
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Springboks, Sunshine And Some Classic Stages
Posted by: newsla on Jun 11, 2014 - 06:18 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
Springboks, Sunshine And Some Classic Stages


This September will mean early spring sunshine, beautiful forest stages and between four and six (possibly eight) cylinders making music.

 

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Welcome to historic motorsport’s all-new annual event: Classic Rally South Africa.

This event is the brainchild of East African Safari Rally founder Surinder Thatthi – a man who knows more than most about competing in and organising rallies on that continent.

Based in White River, Mpumalanga, the event runs from September 1-5 and will include 720 competitive kilometres (450 miles) in five days. The closed-road special stage rally, which will run through some of the finest forest roads in South Africa, will be open to all pre-1985 cars.

Thatthi has been joined in organising the new event by Willie du Plessis, the man in charge of the Sasol Rally (South Africa’s round of the FIA African Rally Championship) and another partner Mrs Henriette Jooste, an organiser and rally secretary in South Africa.

“I have competed in South Africa a lot of times,” said Thatthi, “which is how I know what a real gem of a place it is to rally. Historic rallying isn’t all that well known down there, but we’re looking to change that. Judging from the early response we’ve had to the rally, it shouldn’t be too difficult to tempt a few of the locals out.”

The team will complete the second route survey for Classic Rally South Africa early next month, with the completed itinerary available soon afterwards.

“Willie and I have already been over the roads,” said Thatthi, “and they are fantastic. We’re looking at around 400 kilometres of single-use through the forests and another 200 kilometres used twice – the second in the reverse direction. The roads are just lovely, with the terrain quite similar to the stages in Portugal: quite undulating and hilly.

“The event will be run on private forest roads. A representative from the company which owns the forest roads completed the route survey with us and confirmed the roads will be graded and in a beautiful condition when we get there in September.”

Among the early entries for the event are 1984 world champion Stig Blomqvist. The Swede will drive a Tuthill-prepared Porsche 911. Britain’s John Lloyd will be Blomqvist’s Tuthill team-mate in a second 911.

Viking Motorsport is also well represented with four Ford Escorts committed to the long road south from Newtown to Nelspruit for Jorge Perez Companc, Jan Hagman, Aslam Khan and South African star Lee Rose.

“We are delighted with the way the entries are coming in for the event,” said Thatthi. “Customers from teams like Tuthill and Viking Motorsport are always looking for a new challenge and Classic Rally South Africa will be just that.”



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