DJ rally: organisers aim to draw 150 racers

2010-10-29 00:00

THE organisers of the 2011 DJ Rally, for motorcycles made prior to December 31, 1936, are aiming to attract at least 150 entrants for the classic event which will start in Durban on March 11 and finish in Johannesburg the following day.

This will be the 41st regularity rally to commemorate the famous road race between the two cities that took place from 1913 to 1936, before the authorities decreed that racing on public roads was too dangerous. It will be the 61st running of the event as either a race or regularity rally.

In 1969 the late Dick Osborne, himself an avid motorcyclist, persuaded a group of fellow-enthusiasts to organise a commemorative DJ Run using the roads that made up the route of the original race and, importantly, allowing only motorcycles old enough to have competed in the last DJ in 1936. This latter rule still applies, although changes have had to be made to the route over the years.

The first DJ commemorative rally took place in 1970 and it has been staged every year since then except for 1974 when the authorities refused permission due to the fuel shortage. The event still takes place over two days with an overnight stop at Newcastle, as was the case when it was a road race.

The format of the event changed from a “first past the winning post” road race to a competitive regularity rally where riders have to try and ride as close as possible to set average speeds. Their performances are monitored by hidden marshals placed along the route who take the time as each competitor passes a checkpoint.

Last year’s rally attracted 124 entries and there were 117 starters, with 84 of the competitors qualifying as finishers at the end of the gruelling 650 km event.

•More information can be obtained from Pierre Cronje at 072 513 9432 or at chairman@classicmotorcycle-club.co.za.

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