The 25th Sasol Rally will without a doubt be the rally of the year. From an organiser’s point of view I have always envied the Sasol for the area – the panoramic scenery – the roads and of course the options to use. Pretoria Motor Club organised an almost similar rally with Total as sponsor in the Tzaneen area and we had some serious fun there, although the Total always seemed to be more difficult than the Sasol – mainly because the roads in that area are rougher and the temperatures higher.

team toyota

Then we moved to the Clicnet venue and at least we could compete spectator-wise and real drivers loved the fast roads and challenges. Sissies complained about dust and jumps!

That however was the closest we ever came to at least compete with the Sasol, but we could never beat the born and raised tradition, the ambiance, the challenge and simply the atmosphere.

This year these exceptional factors will – no matter the overall situation – again draw rally drivers to come and show their value and ability, while some will do it for pleasure! I could never understand why anyone rallies for pleasure – the only pleasure lies in winning or at least die, trying.

Tomorrow and Saturday will be quite an experience for me – for the first time I will merely be a spectator – although I will have my reporter’s hat on as well.

Goodness knows I have been invited to attend as a guest and my wife make me swear on the grave of my greatest, great, grandfather who I never knew or worried about, to behave like a guest.

So if you are going to ask me anything, such as how do you find the rally, what do you think will happen to rallies, what do you think of this or that driver, do you think Mark will come back, do you …. you know the story. I will where I can reply in Afrikaans “Pragtig” or “wonderful” in English. No matter if that makes sense or not, “pragtig” or “wonderful” is what you will get.

I promised not to give my opinion on anyone’s ability, the interpretation of the now cost effective perfect notes, or what I think of this, that or the other.

If you hear anyone cheering and clapping – that will be me! The wife made me promise not to cheer and clap before anyone came past at reasonable pace. So I said – “when will I then be able to…” but she gave me a klap before I could complete the sentence.

Serious – it will be wonderful for me (and the wife) to be back where I belong – she reads books in the car – but loves to listen to the nonsense we always speak at the end of stages while waiting for the cars to come through on my inferior notes. (Sorry – ignore the last two words, that was the old me that wrote that – luckily I managed to stop the old me before I wrote about the comparison between damage to cars since I was ignored.)

Anyway – what the new me will do is to report back to Andries back at the office, who will in turn try to write the latest news as it comes through.

Yes if I can find my laser gun before I leave for Sabie I will measure speeds – including entry and exit speed through corners. So you better get the notes and pace right or you will read about yourself.

I will tell Andries what happened and he will inform you and if we have the stuff on our FB page as well on open articles on Clicnet where you can read for free (because it is painful to pay ,67c per day to someone who has made a fortune out of the sport – hey loop hierso – again the other me) – we should be able to tell you most of what happened.

I will be running through the service park a few times, and try to gather some info while staying ahead of anyone who wants to ask a question or tell me something about myself.

Just to make that easy – for the “old Leon’s sake” I have been called every possible name in Afrikaans, Spanish (Rueda), English (Hodgson), French, German, Dutch, Greek and I think the other guy was a Russian. So if you do not have a real contribution to make, don’t waste time.

Let’s have a rally!

So – to our regular and appreciated readers (the ones who saw their way clear to pay ,67c per day) I will be reporting like a V8 driven by 95 octane Sasol – read all about it from about 11h00 tomorrow.

Thank you Willie du Plessis and your team – it is an honour and real pleasure to be part of the best rally in South Africa.

Cannot wait to be right there where the action is.

Thanks for the reminder Leon! – Editor