The Osram Rally, formerly known as the Mountain Trial, returns to the intimidating mountain roads in the southern Drakensberg this weekend with round six of the Sasol SA Rally Championship, centred on the Eastern Cape town of Barkly East.
For Motorite Racingâ€™s Evan Hutchison and Greg Gericke and their class A7 Toyota RunX it will be their first experience of one of the countryâ€™s toughest rallies.
â€œIâ€™ve heard a lot about the old Mountain Trial and Iâ€™m really looking forward to the challenge,â€ said Hutchison, the national off road champion in the special vehicle category in the mighty Motorite Racing BAT Spec 3,
â€œIâ€™ve managed to survive the Roof of Africa mountains in Lesotho in off road racing and Iâ€™m sure Greg and I will be able to build on the progress weâ€™ve made so far this year in our first experience of national championship rallying together.
Hutchison and Gericke will be making their fifth appearance together this year in the ex-works Toyota that took Mark Cronje to a class victory in 2007. Two third places and a fourth in their last four outings have given them confidence and the pair is ready to challenge for a first class win this weekend.
â€œWeâ€™re improving with each new event and I think weâ€™ve shown that we can run at the pace of the established teams in our class,â€ Hutchison adds. â€œWe were up for a good result on the recent Volkswagen Rally in the Eastern Cape (the Toyota was stopped in its tracks as early as stage 3 with engine problems), and weâ€™ll be hoping to put the disappointment of our first non-finish together behind us.â€
After five of the eight rounds, Hutchison is fifth in the A7 driversâ€™ championship, 20 points behind leader Chris de Wit (Toyota RunX). Gericke, who missed the opening round to be at home for the birth of his first child, is fourth in the co-driversâ€™ points standings, 20 behind De Witâ€™s co-driver, Dean Redelinghuys.
Motorite Racing is the motor sport division of Motorite Insurance Administrators, the largest independent mechanical breakdown insurance and full maintenance plan service provider and administrator in South Africa.