Competitors in the SA Cross Country National Motorcycle and Quad Championship will return to Botswana to compete in the much acclaimed Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race that takes place from Friday, 24 June to Sunday 26 June from the Jwaneng Sports Complex. The race will be rounds three and four of the 2016 championship.
The Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race (TDR) has always been a popular event on the South African national championship calendar, but competitors have not raced in the desert since 2013. The 2016 TDR will be a marathon event that will see full distance competitors having to complete a total distance of 914 kilometres over three days with all the action taking place from the Jwaneng Sports Complex. This event will also see riders sharing the event with the Donaldson Cross Country Motor Racing Championship and some of the veteran competitors might have flash backs of an action packed desert race where hundreds of motorcycles, quads and vehicles shared in the weekend’s racing action to the delight of thousands of local spectators.
The organisers, SANORA, has also made provision for WOW (Weekend Off-road Warrior) riders to compete in the event on one day licenses and included an Adventure Class for riders who would like to tackle the epic event with their adventure bikes. The event will also form rounds two and three of the Botswana Motorsport National Off-road Championship (BMS).
All competitors, including WOW and the Silver Inter Provincial Challenge riders, will do a 50km time trial on Friday, 24 June to determine the start order for Saturday’s race. The leading motorcycle competitor will tackle the 196km loop at 07:00 followed by the quads and the BMS 500 riders. There will be three unassisted refuel points on the loop and full distance riders will do the loop twice.
The results of Saturday will determine the start order for Sunday when the leading motorcycle will again start the race at 7:00 followed by the quads and BMS 500 competitors. The day should prove to be quite a challenge as a 236km loop awaits full distance competitors who will have to complete it twice. There will be four unassisted fuel stops on this loop. The Start/Finish and designated service point, where competitors have a compulsory 15 minute decontrol, will all be located at the Jwaneng Sport Complex.
It will be a new chapter in the life of multiple former motorcycle winner of the Botswana 1000 Desert Race, Louwrens Mahoney, who now forms part of the SANORA team. Louwrens is the motorcycle and quad route director and returns to his beloved desert race in an official capacity.
“I love Botswana and the desert race and am looking forward to this event,” Mahoney said. “Although we have already run two rounds of the National Cross Country Championship this year, it will still be totally different and new for me to return to this event in an organisational capacity and not as a competitor. It is a tough, but exciting event where everyone’s endurance is tested to the limit. From the riders who have to pace themselves on the long and tricky routes, to mechanics who have to ensure race ready machines to the support crew and families. Part of the excitement is to get up really early each morning when it is still cold and dark to tackle the desert where you are being tested for two long days,” he mused.
“We are really excited to return to Botswana and trust the competitors will enjoy the event, like we used to do in the past!” Mahoney concluded.