The Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race in Botswana from June 27 to 29, the halfway mark in the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, will again be part of the prestige Dakar Challenge.
The race is the only marathon event on the cross country championship calendar, and after a number of seasons this year moves from Kumakwane, outside Gaborone, to the Jwaneng, Sekoma and Kanye areas. Race headquarters, the start/finish and the designated service point will all be at the Jwaneng sports club and adjoining showground area about 170 kilometres from the Botswana capital.
For the third year in a row the Dakar Challenge will provide the winning crew a free entry into next year’s Dakar Rally in South America. This privilege saw Johan van Staden and Mike Lawrenson compete in the 2012 Dakar with last year’s winners, Thomas Rundle and Juan Mohr, a creditable 25th in this year’s South American classic in the Barden Tyre Toyota Hilux.
An invitation motorcycle race, organised by Botswana Motorsport, will again be run in conjunction with the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 event on June 27 and 28, and for the second year running will also form part of the Dakar Challenge. With a free entry into next year’s Dakar Rally the race is expected to draw an entry that will include all the top riders from South Africa and Botswana.
Only three other countries are part of the Dakar Challenge and Botswana’s affiliation earlier this year to the FIA, the world controlling body for motorsport, will also be a boost for both the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race and the motorcycle event.
The qualifying race to determine grid positions for the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race will be held over a 100 kilometre route on June 27. Crews will then face two days of racing over approximately 450 kilometres per day on June 28 and 29. (Source: http://www.sacrosscountryracing.co.za)