Dullstroom will come alive with the sound of revving engines when the country’s top rally drivers head to this renowned Mpumalanga tourist town in November, for the 2020 TRACN4 National Rally.
This is the second consecutive year that TRAC is sponsoring a round of the South African Rally Championship series, with this year’s last two rounds also serving as the grand finale of the National Rally Championships (NRC).
Due to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the organisers decided to host all the 2020 events as double headers, making the 2020 TRACN4 National Rally rounds 5 & 6 of the championship.
The theme of the TRAC-hosted race is Legends, which is in line with the NRC’s 60th anniversary this year. The South African National Rally Championship is the oldest consecutive running championship in motorsport in SA and the theme will ensure that the 2020 championship ends in style, with both the current and past heroes of the sport getting the recognition they deserve.
The Dullstroom Epilepsy Centre will also get much-deserved recognition and socio-economic development assistance, as it will host the rally headquarters and service park. The centre, which is affiliated to Epilepsy South Africa, has been in operation for many years and plays a pivotal role in the lives of epilepsy sufferers and their families in the rural and deep-rural areas of Mpumalanga and Limpopo.
The 2020 TRACN4 National Rally will be held over two days – 27 and 28 November – with a number of action-packed stages in the Safcol-owned forest area that envelopes the picturesque town. The stages were carefully selected and are sure to deliver when competitors put pedal to the metal.
According to TRAC corporate social investment (CSI) executive manager Adri Fourie, bringing the event to this tourist town made sense. Not only is it just off the N4, but the Safcol forests that surround it will make it one of the most memorable races of the 2020 NRC.
Safcol’s Siphelele Sixaso agrees. “With socio-economic development central to Safcol’s corporate social investment (CSI) goals, the rally is in line with our transformation strategy.” He adds, “We value events such as these as they create social and economic benefits for the communities that we operate in. We believe the 2020 TRACN4 National Rally will generate much interest in, and attraction to, the Emakhazeni region, which has its fair amount of challenges”
Some of the SA Rally Championship’s top drivers will be putting each other and their cars to the test – from current championship leaders Guy Botterill and navigator Simon Vacy-lyle, in their imported Toyota Etios R4, to Chris Coertse and navigator Greg Godrich, who will be biting at their heels in their brand new, locally-manufactured Hyundai I20 R4.
The heat will also be on between the rest of the NRC 1 class drivers and navigators. Theuns Joubert, in his S2000 Toyota Auris, and Johan Strauss, in his four-wheel drive Subaru, will be racing for top honours. A magnificently built Toyota Celica GT4 will also enter the event, which will add to the atmosphere of the Legends’ theme.
In the NRC 2 class, the previous R2N National Championship class, AC Potgieter will join the ranks in his 1000 cc turbo-charged VW Polo, with Team Boertjies, made up of JJ Potgieter and Tommie du Toit, in their Ford Fiesta. Michael McGregor and co-driver Robbie Coetzee, and George Smalberger and Anriko Opperman, in their respective VW Polos, will also be in action. Further adding to the Legends’ theme, the much-loved classic Ford Escorts belonging to Natie Booysen and Ashleigh McKenzie will also be seen at the starting line.
A brand-new entry-level class, NRC 3, has been introduced in the form of the Polo GT Cup. This category aims to attract newcomers into rallying, in a very affordable 1000 cc Turbo Polo Vivo rally car, built by Volkswagen Motorsport in South Africa. Challengers Jayden Els, Rotax Karting World Champion, and karting hero Benjamin Habig, son of legendary Jannie Habig, are the current contenders for the win in this class.
Regrettably, due to COVID-19, strict protocols will be in place and spectators will not be permitted at this year’s event. However, all the fast, thrilling action can be followed on all the SARallying social media pages and on RaceDay TV, which will share the action on various social media platforms as well.
For more information on the 2020 TRACN4 National Rally, follow @TRACN4 or @SARallychamps on Facebook and Instagram or visit our website www.tracn4.co.za. The race secretary can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.