After a 16-year absence, the South African National Rally Championship (NRC) makes a welcome return to Tzaneen with the 7th and 8th rounds of the MRF Tyres SA National Rally Championship to be contested today, Friday the 12th, and tomorrow, Saturday the 13th of August. This return of the National Rally Championship is proudly brought to you by NTT Tzaneen.
The last time this major motorsport event was hosted in this area was in 2006. Come rain or sunshine, it is going to be a blast of an event this weekend.
There are a host of local drivers and co-drivers who will also be amongst the entries and various spectator points have been carefully planned and setup to provide the ultimate experience.
Top on the list to watch out for is the 2021 SA drivers champion, businessman Theuns Joubert from Letsitele, racing in his trustworthy Salom Toyota Yaris S2000.
Joubert is partnered by co-driver Schalk van Heerden. He will be vying for the top step on the podium this weekend in order to close in on the current championship leaders, Chris Coertse and Greg Godrich in their Rally Technic Hyundai i20.
Both these crews will however be on the look out for former champions, Guy Botterill and Simon Vacy-Lyle with their Gazoo Racing Toyota Starlet.
The new Starlet rally car has so far shown some great speed, but unfortunate mechanical niggles sidelined them somewhat through the 2022 season.
The first timed sections in the Agatha plantations on Friday (today) will start at 12:19 which will be followed by five other stages. The rally teams will then return for the last timed section at 19:00 this evening for an adrenalin filled night stage through the streets of Tzaneen.
The teams will be taking on much of the same stages of the first day which will be repeated, except for one stage. The first stage on Saturday morning will see the return of the daunting ‘mineshaft’ stage near the vicinity of the Letaba Bosveld Jagters Vereniging.
The crews will once again finish the rally with another stage in town, this time a spectacular tar and gravel combined section around the area of NTT Motor Group and the Tzaneen Show Grounds.
The show terrain will also be the headquarters and service point during the whole event and will be accessible to the public to see the cars and crews close up. During the rally live timing will be available at www.sarally.co.za and spectator guides will be distributed throughout the event to allow motor racing enthusiasts the best vantage points.