The Auto Pavilion at Volkswagen in Uitenhage is the starting point for the Volkswagen Rally on Friday (15 July). This is where rally fans get to see the cars and take photos with the teams before the start at 13:45.
There are 12 stages to the rally this year, the first of these is at Jachtvlakte and starts ten minutes after the ceremonial start. From here the Volkswagen Rally field heads to Mission Road before returning to Jachtvlakte for stage three – a duplicate of the first stage – and then off to the Port Elizabeth Oval Track Raceway (PEOTR) for a Super Special stage.
“We recommend that spectators choose either stage one or two to view the rally – and then stay in that area for the next stage,” says Joe and Rikus Fourie, who have planned the Volkswagen Rally route. “That is a low-stress way to see the action twice before heading to the big finish for the day, at Bay West Mall which starts at 18:00.”
Spectators attending the Bay West Mall stage will be able to see the action from entrance three (upper level) or entrance four (ground level). Bay West Mall is also the location of the overnight stop – and the start location for day two of the Volkswagen Rally.
The second day is all about the Longmore Forest, with only one of the seven stages for the day not taking place there – the final stage scheduled for PEOTR at 15:26.
“It is an early start on day two, with the first car already tackling stage six at 07:30 on Saturday morning,” says Fourie. “It is recommended that all spectators take specific note of the instructions in the rally guide for the forest stages. Some of the viewing points are also part of later stages so following the schedule is important.”
Volkswagen Rally spectators will be in the forest until the end of stage 11 (which starts at 14:00) and the final stage and podium ceremony wait at PEOTR. This last stage starts at 15:30 and marks the end of a punishing two days of competition for the South African National Rally Championship competitors.
A Volkswagen Rally spectator guide will be available online and at the Volkswagen dealerships in the NMB Metro before the event gets underway. There will also be spectator guides available at the Auto Pavilion start on Friday.