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The Eastern Cape Regional Rally Championship (ECRRC) scene made a superb and welcome comeback in 2008 after a 13 year absence.

In conjunction with VW Motorsport and Citisport the Algoa Motorsport Club’s Rally division devised a regional championship based on a 1.4 liter VW Citi Golf and called this class RA5, meaning Regional A5. This car is a scaled down version of the National A5 VW Citi Golf and can be upgraded to National spec should the driver wish to do so. The idea behind this was to have a few “cheap” rally cars that were all equal on spec thus maximizing the thrill of close racing between all new comers without costing an arm and a leg compared to running a National class car. An initial total of 6 cars was build and subsequently spread out to various up and coming drivers domiciled in the Eastern Cape to pit their skills against each other.

In the interest of starting a championship from scratch and trying to maintain the numbers for future years, this was the best solution that the club came up with. All bigger and National cars are welcome to enter, but in the interest of growing the championship they won’t be eligible for Regional championship status as yet. The championship is not limited to the RA5 cars; National A5 cars are also eligible for Regional points. S20 cars are open for the likes of the Ford Escorts and VW Passats for Club Championship status thus also bringing back some rear wheel drive fun to the party.

This formula adopted proved very successful as there were some close battles fought on each round, the first of which was a section of day one on the National VW Rally 2008 and the second round a section of day two on the VW Rally 2008. A further 4 regional events was held in the Nelson Mandela Metro surrounds to conclude the first EC Regional Rally championship after the lengthy absence of a championship.

All the initial drivers had a very steep learning curve, some unfortunately enough to have exceeded the limits they had hoped to find. One also have to consider that Longmore forest is one of the trickier and most difficult places to hone your rallying skills, especially as a rookie. The fact that each navigator and driver pairing had no idea what a time control was when they entered the VW Rally in July 2008 is testament that new blood was definitely entering a new world, which they now do not want to leave again.about

The spin off was also advantageous for the annual National event as we have gained nearly 20 new marshals for the first year alone. A feat which should not be taken lightly as marshal’s are thinning every year with the demands of everyday life limiting their time to dedicate to those who play on the dusty roads. Being sunburned and thrown full of dust is not on the things-to-do list for many youngsters and the not-so-youngsters, so to get them to volunteer and assist with the growth of our championship has meant a lot more than these guys and girls could imagine, a very Big thank you should also be extended to those dedicated marshals from the Algoa Rally Club.

The first year could be considered a big success as each event had attracted no less than 10 cars. All credit to the men and woman who made this possible to start with. This project and the club had taken many years of hard work to get it where it is now. We hope that we can build on this and attract more numbers with every event.

Even though the RA5 class was aimed at grooming drivers for National level the foremost aim of the club is still to have fun rallying at a reasonable cost, promoting the sport and the fun factor behind it which makes up the backbone of what the sport should be all about, camaraderie and friendly competition.

We urge new competitors, sponsors, marshals, supporters and club members etc. to get involved and build on the success of previous years to take rallying in the Eastern Cape to a new level!

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