VW Rally 2016 – Day 1

This year’s weather was the same as last year – dry, windy and dusty.

I started the VW Rally at the VW Pavilion where all of the cars were lined up and ready to race. I walked around the pavilion and looked at all of my favourite cars including my very first car – the 1963 Karmann Ghia – what memories it brought back! … If there ever was a good rally to follow, it is the VW Rally. They go all out when it comes to entertaining spectators and the drivers seem to enjoy the routes too! I walked around the Pavilion where all of the cars were parked and inspected the things that always catch my eye – new tyres & the patterns, new car wrapping, new drivers and interesting details…1.30pm arrived and we were off to Stage 1:


Stage 1 was to be repeated in stage 3 so we stayed in the same space but moved from one spectator point to the next. I captured a few snaps of the cars as they raced past creating a cloud of dust for those who did not stand in the correct wind direction.

3This years media coverage was impressive – the sport needs the good social media and I really want to acknowledge the SA Rallying social media team for doing such an amazing job. We could follow the rally on social media from the helicopter via twitter or via regular updates by SA Rallying – amazing! When following certain drivers, twitter is a lifesaver as it lets you know if they have broken down, if they are winning and if they can be expected in the next stage.

#3 Giniel de Villiers and co Driver Carolyn Swan- stage 1
#39 Ernie van der Walt & co driver Gerhard Snyman
#71 Guy Botteril & co driver Simon Vacy-Lyle


#96 Richard Leeke & co driver Henry Kohne
#65 Ashley Haigh-Smith & co driver Niall Burns


My favourite for the day #553 Jakes Cronje & co driver Heiko Hnidey

We then moved to stage 3 spectator point B to view the cars re-do stage 1 and take a sharp right turn on the gravel road. The light was perfect and it emphasized the dust in just the right places. The PE rally always seems to provide two extremes: wind and heavy dust OR a downpour of rain which cancels stages! Either way, it makes for great photos!!

Giniel de Villiers making good time in stage 2
Leeroy Poulter & Elvene Coetzee
stage 3 was dust, just dust
Luke Botha & co driver Barry White
One of my favourites, Ernie v.d Walt & Gerhard Snyman
The landscape was beautiful as the sun set and the rain clouds moved in. I always love photographing this rally…


Andrew Heine & co driver Lloyd Brady who fixed a broken drive shaft after stage 2 in time for stage 3
Richard Leeke & co driver Henry Kohne
#88 Chris Coertse & Greg Godrich
Another favourite – #520 Iddo Steyn & Mark Irvine in the Ford Escort

The addition of regular cars, especially older cars, lightened the mood and added extra entertainment for the spectators as everyone clapped and cheered for the good old classics!


We skipped the oval track (stage 4) and made our way to the final stage for the day – Baywest Mall. These stages are awesome entertainment as they are fast, short and confuse the drivers (only entertaining on our part, I am sure) The crowds were cheering and directing the drivers the correct way as they zig zagged through the car park.

Tomorrow is my favourite part of the Rally, the Longmore Forest. Be sure to follow me on snapchat for live updates!

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