With 19 designated spectator points along the route the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race, round four and the halfway point of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, the thousands of enthusiasts expected to watch the race from June 27 to 29 will be well catered for.
The event is the biggest social and sporting event of the year in Botswana, with locals and visitors from South Africa and neighbouring territories turning out in their droves to catch the action. After being based at Kumakwane, on the outskirts of Gaborone, for a number of years the race has moved to Jwaneng, about 160 kilometres west of the Botswana capital.
The move to Jwaneng, home of the world’s richest diamond mine, was at the request of the Botswana Tourist Organisation. The Desert Race brings a huge financial windfall to areas which stage the event, and the BTO authorities are keen for other regions to benefit.
“There are 19 designated spectator points along the route, along with numerous vantage points that will be well known to the local population,” said route director Adri Roets. “The area had good rains in the wet season, and vegetation is nice and green.
“The route, however, is going to be dry and very sandy with all the rocks, bushes and tree stumps part and parcel of this race.”
The 100 kilometre route for the June 27 qualifying race to determine grid positions will take competitors from Jwaneng towards Sese before branching towards Mokhomma. The course then doubles back to the finish at Jwaneng.
On day two of the race competitors will complete two loops of approximately 225 kilometres, with a 15 minute halt at the designated service point in Jwaneng at the end of the first lap. The route again takes crews towards Makhomma, Lefhoko and Maokane before doubling back to the finish.
The third and final day will also see competitors complete two loops of approximately 190 kilometres, with another compulsory stop after the first lap. This time the route heads towards Sese, Tshono, Tsonyane and Lefhoko on the way to the finish.
Competitors in Class G in the Production Vehicle category will complete a 60 kilometre qualifying race. Crews will then complete one lap of the day two and day three courses.
The Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race and an invitation motorcycle and quad race on June 27 and 28, to be organised by Botswana Motorsport, are again included in the Dakar Challenge. The winners of the Desert Race and the invitation motorcycle race will receive free entries into next year’s Dakar Rally in South America.
Race headquarters, the start/finish and the designated service park will all be located at the Jwaneng sports complex and adjoining showground. Public access to these areas will be restricted, but spectator points on the route are open to enthusiasts at no charge.
The qualifying race on Friday, June 27 will start at 11:30 and the race on Saturday and Sunday 28 and 29 June at 8:00 (Source: This information is supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Media)/ http://www.sacrosscountryracing.co.za)