Rally action returns to the Eastern Cape when the 34th Volkswagen Rally, the fourth round of the 2016 National Rally Championship, takes place on Friday and Saturday, 15 and 16 July in the Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage areas. In addition to the national competitors, the event will include a contingent of regional competitors as well.

The annual Volkswagen Rally is the highlight on the Eastern Cape motorsport calendar. The 2016 event includes 12 stages of competition which are spread over the two days – with a total stage distance of nearly 190 km. It is going to be a tough challenge for the competitors as the Volkswagen Rally has an unforgiving nature for any team that is even slightly under-prepared.

“The Volkswagen Rally covers a variety of terrain types,” says route directors Joe and Rikus Fourie. “It isn’t going to be an easy rally, but it certainly is going to be interesting and the teams will know they’ve just finished a round of the national championship by the time they are done.”

The Auto Pavilion in Uitenhage will feature as the traditional start for the rally and also a chance for the rally fans to meet the teams and see the cars up close before the action begins.

This will take place on Friday, July 15, while the overnight parc ferme for the event is Bay West Mall – it is also the location for the restart of the Volkswagen Rally on Saturday morning. The start time for the event on Friday, July 15, is 13:45 when the competitors will pull off from Auto Pavilion and head to stage one at Jachtvlakte (which starts at 13:55).

“Some of the 2016 route spectators and competitors will have seen before, but there are a few new challenges to consider,” says Fourie. “The Bay West Mall stage is a new one – and that will be the highlight to end the first day of the event.”

“We’ve tried to make the Volkswagen Rally an easy one for the spectators to follow and also keep the stages close to areas where rally fans can access good vantage points – as well as using areas where the rally cars will run multiple times.”