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ABSA South African Championship 2007 Special-Newssection

This is the single-news section of the special of the ABSA South African Offroad Championship series 2007. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

African Heritage: Full steam ahead for African Heritag FIA Rally

It is full steam ahead for the African Heritage Cross Country in the Eastern Cape, the only world championship event on this year’s South African motorsport calendar, from July 26 to 30. The event will be round five of the Absa Off Road Championship and round two of the FIA Cross Country World Cup. With the cancellation of the South African Motocross Grand Prix later this year, and the withdrawal of the recent Zulu Rally as a candidate event for the World Rally Championship the African Heritage Cross Country race will be South Africa’s only world championship event.

"All the necessary financial and other guarantees have been lodged with the FIA and Motorsport South Africa," said event rights holder Charmaine Fortune. "The regulations are currently being distributed locally and overseas, and we are well down the road in terms of organisation and the route." Ms Fortune added the event had the backing and full support of the Eastern Cape government. African Heritage Cross Country organisers are also working closely with the Department of Sport.

"We have had overwhelming support from the Eastern Cape Government and have developed a close working relationship with the relevant provincial departments," Ms Fortune said. "The same applies to the Department of Sport and everyone is bending over backwards to help us.

Ms Fortune said an event of this nature would provide a major economic boost for the Eastern Cape. There would also be other benefits in terms of promoting tourism and generating short term job opportunities, and a decision had already been taken to stage the African Heritage Cross Country event in the Eastern Cape on a long term basis. The Absa Off Road Championship and FIA World Cup events will run in tandem. The FIA race will run from July 27 to July 30 and the Absa Off Road Championship event on July 27 and 28.

South African competitors will be allowed to also compete, on an invitation basis, in the FIA event and will run at the back of the field. No championship points will be at stake, but trophies will be awarded. Documentation and scrutineering will be held on July 26, and the event starts on July 27 with a prologue for Absa Off Road Championship competitors, and Stage One for FIA entrants. The prologue and Stage One will start in Bisho and finish at the Fish River Sun.

On July 28 both ABSA and FIA competitors will compete over a 500 kilometre route in the Amatola Mountains district. This will be Stage Two for the international competitors with the start and finish again at the Fish River Sun.

Stage Three of the FIA race will start and finish at the Fish River Sun with competitors completing the Stage Two route in reverse. Stage Four will start at the Fish River Sun and will finish in the East London area.

"After a successful candidate event in Mpumalanga in 2005, this is the second year we have staged a round of the FIA Cross Country World Cup," Ms Fortune said. "The race is hugely important for South Africa’s image in the international motor racing community, and is a major boost for off road racing in this country. We have the interests of both at heart and are looking forward to staging an event that meets the highest international standards."

2007/07/11 | 18:04 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Charmaine Fortune

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