The Harrismith 400, the penultimate round of the South African Cross Country Series (SACCS), takes competitors back to the same venue and area they visited for the first time last year, but when they tackle the fifth round of the championship on 14 and 15 September, it will be on a new route. There is so much at stake for competitors and not much time left that the air of anticipation surrounding the Harrismith 400 is palpable and this adds to the level of excitement surrounding this event.
After a successful first visit last year, the event will again be based at the Eeram Farmers Complex on the outskirts of the active agricultural area of Harrismith in the eastern Free State. With Harrismith on the cusp of the KwaZulu-Natal border, the event will also incorporate round six of the KZN Regional Off-road Championship. The 2018 SACCS championships are delicately poised and with the addition of a quality field of regional competitors, a weekend of action packed racing is on the cards.
The area is known for its typical Highveld terrain with flowing and undulating sandy tracks with more than 80 percent of the route traversing new terrain. The support and assistance from businessman and former cross-country competitor, Kobus van Tonder as well as the support from the local community, has again played a huge role in putting this event together to present competitors with a memorable experience.
“We would like to convey a special word of thanks to the landowners for their co-operation and support for the event again this year,” Route Director, Adri Roets, said. “The SACCS brings a complete show to the Harrismith area and the success of the event goes hand in hand with their co-operation and them making their land available,” he concluded.
The area is still quite dry and much needed rain during early September will ensure less dust. These conditions will, however, add to the strategy of the teams who will go for gold and maximum points, but will also have to play it safe to ensure they first receive the chequered flag for them to earn points.
Competitors will take on the qualifying race at 13:00 on Friday, 14 September to determine grid positions for the race on Saturday when the action will start at 08:00. The race headquarters, the start/finish and designated service park will be situated at the Eeram Farmers Complex with free public access to these areas. The local Eeram Vroue Landbou Unie and farmers will be supplying an array of snacks, meals and beverages throughout the weekend.
Spectators will be able to view the racing action from various vantage points along the route and can collect the maps with information at the Harrismith 400 race headquarters. There will be ample parking and spectators can look forward to an action-packed weekend of cross country racing within easy reach of KZN, Gauteng and the Free State.