Excitement is building for the next round of the South African National Cross Country Series (SACCS), the TOTAL AGRI 400 which takes place on Friday and Saturday, 18 and 19 September. The event forms the third round of the 2020 championship and will take competitors to NAMPO Park in the Bothaville area of the Free State where the annual NAMPO Show, the biggest agricultural show in the southern hemisphere, has been taking place for almost six decades.

Gary Bertholdt and Siegfried Rousseau

The TOTAL AGRI 400, a brand-new event on the SACCS calendar, and the second event to be run under strict COVID-19 regulations, guarantees competitors a stern challenge.

“Although the TOTAL AGRI 400 is being staged in one the country’s biggest maize producing areas, competitors can rest assured that the route will not be a typical mealie field race,” said SACCS Route Director Evan Hutchison. “Competitors will have to keep their eyes peeled and the concentration levels high if they want to stay out of trouble,” Hutchison cautioned.

NAMPO Park will serve as the Race Headquarters, Start/Finish and Designated Service Point (DSP) for the TOTAL AGRI 400 and SACCS competitors can feel honoured to make use of these great facilities that sees thousands of visitors from all over the world during the NAMPO Show.

Upon returning from the area after plotting the route for the upcoming TOTAL AGRI 400, SACCS Route Director, Hutchison, was overjoyed by the incredible hospitality and support from the local farming community.

“It has been a very gratifying experience to work with the farmers in the area and everyone is extremely keen to ensure the event is a huge success,” Hutchison said.

The route is an interesting mix of soft, sandy sections with some tricky tracks through vlei areas and include a spectacular glimpse of the Vaal River along some hard pack, rocky and technical sections.

The Pirelli Qualifying Race on Friday, 18 September will be approximately 48 kilometres and will be the perfect appetiser for an exciting weekend of Cross Country racing in the Free State. The route will include a nice combination of fast sections as well as soft sand and hard pack terrain around some of the most fertile farming property in the Bothaville area.

For the main race on Saturday, 19 September competitors will traverse a variety of terrain on a route that has all the ingredients to satisfy the enigmatic nature of the SACCS Cross Country fraternity. From the start at NAMPO Park, competitors will head north towards Orkney, veer down towards the Vaal River from where they will return in a southerly direction towards Bothaville before finishing at NAMPO Park. The route will be about 170 kilometres in distance and competitors will complete it twice.

Entries for the TOTAL AGRI 400 are open and with two weeks to go, it is all systems go for an event that looks to become yet another highlight on the SACCS calendar. With the documentation and registration process as well as vehicle checks and competitors briefing before the Pirelli Qualifying Race on Friday now all electronic, the racing action will start at 13:00 at NAMPO Park.

The results will determine the starting order for the main event that will get underway on Saturday, 19 September at 08:00.

Although the TOTAL AGRI 400 is a closed event, enthusiasts can follow all the action on the RallySafe App on 18 and 19 September. The App can be downloaded free of charge from the App Store or Google Play Store. Information will also be shared on the SACCS Telegram App as well as on Facebook SACCS.