Following a digital meeting with all the Toyota 1000 kilometre Desert Race (TDR 1000) stakeholders on Thursday, 19 March the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 event in Botswana was made.
The outbreak and spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, has caused major disruption to societies with numerous events being cancelled or postponed worldwide. “First and foremost, our priority is the health and safety of fans, teams, and organisations, as well as the wider society,” said South African Cross Country Series (SACCS) CEO Archie Rutherford.
“We apologise to those fans affected by the cancellation of the TDR 1000 as well as the postponement of the other races to date. “This decision has been taken in rapidly changing and evolving circumstances, but we believe it is the right and necessary one.” Rutherford added.
“Due to the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, the avenue of postponement for this iconic event to take place in Botswana later in the year is not possible in view of other planned events and the seasonal conditions,” said Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) CEO Myra Sekgororoane.
“In these cautionary times we cannot distance ourselves from global developments and decisive action was needed to protect the wellbeing of people and economies. The decisions to cancel the 2020 TDR 1000 in Botswana was not taken lightly, but with guidance from our stakeholders SPEDU, Selebi Phikwe Town Council, the Central District Council Secretary, Deputy District Commissioner Selebi Phikwe, Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC), Botswana Motorsport (BMS) and SACCS it is a positive step under the prevailing conditions” Sekgororoane said.
“The timeous cancelation of the event also provides hotels and service providers in the area an opportunity to engage with other activities to attract local travel to this beautiful destination.” concluded Sekgororoane. The date for the 2021 TDR will be announced in due course.