The pressure will be on Natal crews in the Stannic Fleet Management Rally,
round six of the Stannic National Rally Championship, on August 14 and 15.
And no one will feel the pressure more than reigning champions Jan Habig
and Doug Judd, in the factory VW Golf, on a rally that breaks new ground
in South Africa. Habig and Judd now trail six time champions Serge
Damseaux and Vito Bonafede (Castrol Toyota Conquest, by one point in the
drivers and co-drivers championships, and the Gauteng event could make or
break their title hopes this season.
The Stannic Fleet Management Rally puts two other Natal crews Cliff
Blackman and Johan Klaasen (Team Total Nissan Sentra) and Dean
Sanders/Graham Hooper (Team Total Toyota Conquest) in much the same
position in the Group N category. Blackman and Klaasen currently lie fifth
in the overall championship and top the standings in Class N3.
The Team Total pair, however, are only five points ahead of former SA
champion Hannes Grobler and Dave McGregor in the Bridgestone Nissan
Sentra. For Sanders and Hooper, the position is event tighter.
Sanders and Hooper share 10th place in the overall championship with Cape
crew Diffie Marais and Danie de Waal (Tony's Radiators Toyota Corolla).
The two crews are also locked together at the top of Class N2 with young
Cape driver Richard Behm only one point behind Marais and Sanders.
The Gauteng outing is also important for Craig Trott and Brian Duncan
(Team Total Toyota Conquest) and Etienne Lourens and Robert Paisley in the
Team Total Toyota Conquest in Class A8. Trott/Duncan are eighth in the
overall championship and third in Class A6, while three non finishes in
four outings has seen the highly regarded Lourens/Paisley combination drop
out of the top 10 in the overall standings.
The event will start at Innesfree Park in the heart of Sandton at 12h30 on
August 14. The special stage, a 2,19 kilometre tarmac stage, will start
near the Grayston Road off ramp on the M1 and will provide plenty of lunch
time entertainment with excellent spectator points and catering
Later in the afternoon the event will move to AA Kyalami and the Gerotek
test facility near Pretoria West for six pre***ly tarmac stages. Day
one will finish at the Expo Centre at Nasrec with the first ever indoor
special stage which will be run on a cement and paved surface in and
around the giant Hall 5.
It will be the first time in the world that an indoor special stage has
been used on a national championship event. There will be ample parking,
catering and ablution facilities with the stage providing for great
spectating and exciting motoring.
Day two of the Stannic Fleet Management Rally will start at AA Kyalami
with a combined tarmac/dirt stage before the rally heads for Sentrarand,
in the Bapsfontein area, for five dirt special stages ranging in length
from 11 to 28 kilometres.
The Sentrarand special stages are within 20 kilometres of Springs and are
ideally located for spectating from a central point. Catering facilities
will also be available. A further five dirt special stages will then be
run in the Delmas, Nigel and Springs area with all of them close to the
N17, R29 and R42 road system. These special stages range in distance from
four to 15 kilometres and also provide for excellent spectating with easy
access to spectator vantage points.
The Stannic Fleet Management Rally will then head for the finish at the
Expo Centre at Nasrec with a Super Special Stage - with two cars competing
against each other at the same time on a figure of eight course - and an
800 metre "Dash for Cash" in Hall 5. The "Dash for Cash" stage will see R1
000 paid to the fastest crew in each class and with good parking, catering
facilities and great vantage points will provide for a spectacular finale
to the event.