The 2021 TRACN4 Rally of South Africa will take place in the hospitable tourism town of Dullstroom in November.
This will be the second consecutive year that this high velocity, adrenalin-pumping motorsport event will be held in the picturesque Emakhazeni region, with last year’s rally proving the most successful of the 2020 South African National Rally Championship series.
This year, the event also forms part of the prestigious FIA African Rally Championship (ARC). The FIA (which enables professional and amateur drivers to live their passion in the Sub-Saharan region) held its first event in 1981. The ARC is now in its 40th season and features some legendary gravel events across stunning African landscapes.
This will also be the third year that TRAC is sponsoring a SA National Rally Championship round, with 2021's final two rounds also serving as the grand finale of the SA National Rally Championships (NRC).
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, race organisers decided to host all of the 2021 national events as doubleheaders, thus making the 2021 TRACN4 Rally of South Africa rounds seven (7) and eight (8) of the series. The theme for this year’s TRAC rally is ‘Africa All The Way’, which is in line with the Proudly African sentiment felt by TRAC and the rally fraternity.
The Dullstroom Epilepsy Centre will once again be the primary beneficiary of the 2021 TRACN4 Rally. The facility is affiliated with Epilepsy South Africa and has offices in Dullstroom. It has been in operation for years and plays a pivotal role in the lives of people living with epilepsy and their families in the rural areas of Mpumalanga and Limpopo.
Not only will the centre serve as rally headquarters and media hub for the 2021 event, but all the proceeds generated from the 2021 TRACN4 Rally of South Africa will go towards assisting this non-governmental organisation (NGO) that has been hit hard by the pandemic.
On the back of last year’s rally, TRAC paved the facility’s main entrance and upgraded its sports field’s spectator area, hall and lapa area. This, according to centre director Rebecca Mashigo, has had a remarkably positive effect on the facility’s residents and employees.
The 2021 TRACN4 Rally of South Africa will be held over two days – 26 and 27 November – with action- packed stages in and around Dullstroom, including in the Safcol-owned forest area that envelopes the picturesque town.
According to TRAC’s corporate social investment (CSI) executive manager Adri Fourie, bringing the event to Emakhazeni goes hand-in-hand with TRAC's commitment to the communities along the Maputo Corridor. Not only will it boost tourism and visitors to the area, but racing in the Safcol forests is also guaranteed to make the final stages of the series truly memorable.
Some of the SA Rally Championship's top drivers will be back in action this year, and all are ready and eager to put each other and their cars to the test. One of those eager to put pedal to the metal in Dullstroom is our South African representative challenger in the ARC, Guy Botterill and navigator Simon Vacy-Lyle, in their imported Toyota Etios R4.
The race for the NRC 1 class on National Level is between Theuns Joubert and navigator Schalk van Heerden, and Chris Coertse and navigator Greg Godrich, who will be nail-biting to watch at this last event of the year. In the NRC 2 class, George Smalberger and Anriko Opperman, in their VW Polo, will also be in action. The NRC Class 2 will also see Gerald Klopper and navigator Mari Ducasse in action in their Toyota Auris and Benjamin Habig and navigator Barry White in their VW Polo. The Swazi-Cowboy team of Jono van Wyk, the husband and wife team of JJ and Magriet Potgieter (also known as the Boertjies), will also be taking on the forests and roads of Emakhazeni. However, the race to the top of this class will be between Jayden Els, J.J Potgieter and AC Potgieter, where ultimate skill and speed will determine the winner.
The current NRC 4 champion in his well-known 2 litre turbo-charged Tazz, Jonathan Simms, has also committed to entering the event. Speaking to Jonathan, who is based in Secunda, Mpumalanga, it is clear that his life-long dream is to compete against national and international teams. He describes the TRAC N4 event as one of the best organised, most scenic, and most technically challenging in terms of driver and navigator skillsets. A long-overdue return sees father and daughter duo Edward and Larine Strydom in their fast NRC1/NR2 Tazz 1600 20V. It will be challenged by the talented Henry Mostert and his navigator Willem Morgen in the highly reliable NR1 12V Toyota Conquest.
Further adding to the theme, the much-loved classic Ford Escort MK1 driven by the experienced Natie Booysen with co-driver Johan Smith will compete against the Datsun 160U of equally qualified husband and wife team Sarel and Barbara Coetzer. However, these teams will have to work hard to ensure they stay ahead of the Malan pair in a Datsun GX, their biggest challengers.
The low flying Anton Raaths and Louis Menge in the Mazda Rotary will compete against the father and daughter team of Johann & Natasha Fourie in a Castrol Celica ST185 GT-4 as well as Rocco Huzak and Marcel Dangoumou driving a Repsol Celica ST185 GT-4. Both these cars compete under the Toyota Team Fourie (TTF) banner. Arguably the most exciting and successful rally car Toyota ever built, the Celica AWD Turbo won the WRC Drivers' Championship in 1992 and the WRC Manufacturers accolade. Both Johann and Rocco intend on challenging some of the newer generation rally cars for overall honours.
Andrea Raaths and her mom Isabel in a 1600 Golf are the only all-female team and are expected to raise eyebrows. Also expected to make a statement is the spectacular, former-factory Toyota Corolla RWD of the Lukas van der Merwe Junior/Tommie Coetzee pairing.
Although spectators were not permitted at last year's rally due to lockdown regulations, should the current national lockdown level remain, spectators will be allowed at this year's event. The location of these will be confirmed and communicated on TRAC's and all NRC and Motorsport SA social media platforms. Rally lovers not able to attend the race in person can catch the fast, thrilling action on all the SARallying social media pages and on RaceDay TV, which will share the action on various social media platforms.
For more information on the 2021 TRACN4 Rally of South Africa, 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.
Published by: Solange Soares
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