With less than a month to the start of the Jeffreys Bay WinterFest, a multi sports event that takes place every July in the small coastal town, festival goers have a lot of different options awaiting them.
The return of the VW rally last year caused immense excitement and thousands of spectators flocked to the beach front area to watch the drivers take on the narrow roads in and around the CBD of Jeffreys Bay.
“There are some changes to the layout of the rally this year,” says route organiser Joe Fourie. “The Volkswagen Rally will start on a brand new stage on Friday and end on a new stage on Saturday afternoon – there is also a Super Special stage complete with bridge and crossover to make things even more exciting.”
The traditional start at Auto Pavilion in Uitenhage, right at Volkswagen South Africa’s main gate takes place at midday on Friday. It is from this point that the Volkswagen Rally will head to stage one opposite the Uitenhage hospital on Mission Road.
“Stage one is 16km of loose surface gravel rallying and there are three very good spectator points,” says Fourie. “This stage will be run twice during the Volkswagen Rally, providing variety and excellent viewing before the field heads out to the Longmore Forest.”
The final two stages of day one on the Volkswagen Rally sees the field leave the gravel behind and head for Jeffreys Bay where two stages take place – at Fountains Mall and in the city centre. These stages are targeted specifically at spectators, bringing the action right into town.
“This year Gabriel Jewellers are again offering a pair of Tissot watches, valued at a combined R11 000, for the Fountains Mall stage winners,” says Fourie.
After an overnight stop at Port Elizabeth Oval Track Raceway, the Volkswagen Rally field will complete two stages in this area before heading out to Longmore for the second day of gravel action in the forest.
The big finish for the Volkswagen Rally this year takes place at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium where the final stage will be run in the access roads within the stadium area.