|What||MRF South African Rally Championship Round 1|
|Where||Overberg, Western Cape|
|When||20-21 May 2022|
|Community||South Africa National|
Overberg Rally Starts MRF Tyres SA Rally Season in Style
The 2022 South African Rally Championship running on MRF Tyres may be getting off to a delayed start with the original opening round NTT Toyota Rally postponed to September due to flooding in Delmas. But it’s all action as the national stage sport returns to the Western Cape for the first time in a few seasons since lockdown intervened, this Friday and Saturday 20 and 21 May.
To start the most exciting rally season in years, the Cape Overberg Rally will comprise the opening two rounds of the 2022 championship, out of Bredasdorp on Friday 20 and starting from Klipdale Saturday 21 May. But there’s far more to it, with 25 entries in at the time of writing, new machinery for former champions and the champion driver and navigator up against each other as the sport enters a new era.
2021 SA Rally Driver’s Champion Theuns Joubert has the hugely experienced Schalk van Heerden reading his notes in the NRC1 Salom Arbeid Toyota Yaris. Reigning 2021 SA Rally Co-Driver’s Champion Greg Godrich continues alongside Chris Coertse in the Rally Technic Hyundai I20 R4 NRC1. Should make for an interesting tussle. But there’s another novelty waiting in the wings that is certain to have both of those crews and all SA rally fans’ full attention...
The entire South African Rally community is waiting with bated breath for Guy Botteril and Simon Vacy Lyle to finally pull the veil off their brand new turbo two-litre NRC 1 Toyota Gazoo Racing Starlet. This new machine is expected to see its intrepid driver and navigator straight back into the sharp end of the field following an interim season last year. New rally cars are notorious for early career reliability, but Botteril and Lyle have been testing in secret, so expect them to be ready.
Other NRC 1 crews include Johan Strauss and Elzaan Venter's Subaru Impreza, Wilro Dippenaar and veteran navigatrix Carolyn Swan's PZN Toyota Auris, and Anton Raaths and Louis Menge’s Ford Cosworth. NRC 2 entries may be thin on the ground in the Cape with Gerald Klopper and Johan Aucamp’s former Botteril and Lyle champion Toyota Etios up against George Smallberger and Robbie Coetzee Shield Polo and Benjamin Habig and Barry White’s similar Just Tools car.
The NRC 2 field is expected to swell by another seven cars at least joining from the second MRF Tyres SA Rally National at Secunda. But there will be more than ample to keep the Cape fans happy with a strong entry from the swelling local rally series. Expect the likes of Llewelyn Jones and Chris Pichon and Owen Jones and Ingrid Jeancock's Subarus, Inus du Plessis and Piet Carinus' BMW and a varied local attack to keep the national field on their toes.
Friday’s start is at 10h45 from Rola Toyota in Bredasdorp, with stages in the area throughout the day, including some famous and popular Overberg spectator points and even one on the Cape Aughallas Raceway oval track at Bredasdorp. Saturday’s action commences from Ruens Kollege Klipdale from 10:30 am. Spectator information will be available from 16th May and distributed at the starting points and service parks.
*This South African National Rally Championship information is brought to you by series official series supplier, MRF Motorsport Tyres.
Issued on behalf of MRF SA Rally
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