• A feast of motorsport for cross country racing enthusiasts
Anyone harbouring expectations that the route for the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race will differ materially from years gone by is not paying attention.The route for this year’s race from June 24 to 26 is typically Kalahari. That means plenty of sand, more sand and rocky outcrops although there is good grass cover after late summer rains.
The weekend’s programme features a feast of national championship racing with round three of the Donaldson Cross Country Motor Racing Championship, and rounds three and four of the South African Cross Country Motorcycle and Quad Racing Championships racing under the SANORA banner. The event also features rounds two and three of the Botswana National Off Road Championship and it is the first time since 2013 that the two South African national series have competed together in Botswana.
“It is great to have the cars, motorcycles and the quads under one roof again,” said SANORA chief executive officer Siegfried Rousseau. “The weekend is regarded as the premier sporting and social event in Botswana, and is the blue chip event on the Donaldson Cross Country Championship calendar.
“The weekend promises to provide for some spectacular racing and once again we have had unbelievable support from the Botswana Tourism Organisation, the Botswana Police Service, various Land Boards, the Jwaneng District Commissioner, the Jwaneng Town Council and Debswana who own the Jwaneng diamond mine.”
Rousseau also paid tribute to the healthy working relationship forged with Botswana Motorsport over the past two years. The positive cooperation and keen desire to grow the federation and the sport in Botswana was encouraging. The opportunity offered by SANORA, to be part of this epic event, has provided a hands-on approach that sees the Botswana federation actively involved in route reconnaissance, compiling the road book, route marking and the provision of event marshals and officials.
The 120 kilometre qualifying race for cars on Friday, June 24 starting at 10:30 from the Jwaneng Sports Club will see competitors follow a route that takes them south to Mokhomma and back to the finish at Jwaneng. The motorcycles and quads will complete a 50 kilometres time trial utilising a different route from the cars and are scheduled to start at 13:30.
The cars, motorcycles and quads will each do a ‘south’ loop and an ‘east’ loop in the race. The cars will complete the ‘south’ loop on Saturday, June 25 and the ‘east’ loop on Sunday, June 26 and vice versa for the motorcycles and quads.
The ‘south’ loop will take competitors 236 kilometres south of Jwaneng to Mokhomma, Lefoko, Maokane and Khua Pan before returning to Jwaneng. The 196 kilometre ‘east’ loop takes in Sese and Tsonyane via Lefoko before returning to the start/finish at the Jwaneng Sports Club.
“The race is again spectator friendly with plenty of excellent viewing points on the Mokhomma, Lefoko, Maokane and Sese roads,” said route director Adri Roets. “Traffic volumes are likely to be high and spectators are urged to act responsibly and exercise extreme caution.”
Race headquarters, the start/finish and the designated service point are all located at the Jwaneng Sports Club and adjoining showground facility. Public access to these areas will be controlled, but there is free entry into spectator viewing points along the car and motorcycle/quad routes.