The first event of the 2013 SA Rally Championship, the Total Rally, held on the 8th and 9th of March 2013. The Tour Natal Rally is now in its 54th year. The success of the 2012 Arbour Crossing Stage has necessitated the return of the Total Rally to the larger Sun Coast Casino Complex. All gravel tests were run on the infamous and ultra slippery KZN south coast roads.
A few of us decided to make our way down the south coast to catch the dirt section of the Total Natal Rally, we managed to get to our planned spectator point just as the top guys had passed, not a big problem, we stayed and watched the slower classes and then rushed off in pursuit of another spectator point. Thankfully we found a great vantage point after walking through some sugar cane fields, this further lead us to another 2 points within walking distance that offered lots to see, fast corners, tight corners, short straights, awesome action.
The marshals were on top form to make sure everyone was as close to the action but equally far enough away to avoid any immediate danger (or as safe as a sport such as this allows), apart from someone’s little rat dog that kept running toward the route, which the owners didn’t seem to preterbed about it was all handled quite well.
South African rally champions Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton (S2000 Ford Racing Fiesta) started the new season where they left off in 2012 with a dominant victory in the Total Rally, with former champions Jan Habig and Robert Paisley in their Ford in their Fiesta, finishing 1min05 sec further back. Third was Jean-Pierre Damseaux and new co-driver Hilton Auffray in their Toyota Auris