SA bid to host World Rally Championship event
SOUTH Africa and Brazil will vie for one of the events in the World Rally Championship of 2014 and 2015.
A decision between the two countries will be made by motor sport’s international body, Federation Internationale de l’’Automobile (FIA), in August after South Africa has hosted a “candidate event”.
The event, to be staged in KwaZulu-Natal from August 16-18, will test the country’s readiness to stage one of the WRC events.
The WRC season is in its 40th year and is run over 13 rallies that began 2012 with the famed Monte Carlo Rally in January, won by Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena in a Citroen. The next event, the Rally of New Zealand, will take place next week.
The WRC is believed to be the second biggest motor sport series after Formula One.
South Africa’s bid is being arranged by Kagiso Vantage which will stage the candidate event in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, Richmond and the KZN South Coast. The Moses Mabhida stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies as well as operate as a service park.
Kagiso’s Murphy Morobe said the 2010 World Cup had proved South Africa’s ability to stage world-class sporting events.
“We have toiled very hard to reach this point to ensure that our bid meets the criteria, ” said Morobe.
Steve Miller, chairman of Motorsport South Africa, said the value of a WRC event in the country was “indisputable”.
“It will undoubtedly raise the profile of motor sport in general and boost this discipline of the sport,” he said.
The last time a WRC event was held in Africa was 10 years ago in Kenya.