Tuesday, September 22, 2020

2009 Toyota Desert Race tougher than ever

A tougher than ever Toyota 1000km Desert Race is the daunting prospect facing competitors in this year’s Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000km Desert race and round four of the Absa Off Road Championship, from June 19 to 21.

“It is going to be tough, but that is what the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000km Desert Race is all about,” said Skean Drummond, Clerk of the Course. He added that there will be a number of rocky sections besides sand and more sand that will test crews to the limit.

He further said that while it is obviously going to be tough on men and machinery, they have done their best to come up with a route that is varied and interesting.

Regarded as the Comrade Marathon of the Absa series by the off-road fraternity, the route will once again take in the usual thick sand, rivers and riverbeds, thorn trees and pass through some remote areas of the Kalahari. “While the route goes into some remote areas, it also takes in more popular locations like Mantshwabisi, Hatsalatladi, Kumakwane, Medie and Metsemotlhabe,” said Drummond.

The event will once again have its headquarters at the Game City complex in Gaborone and documentation will be held on Friday, June 19 before the start of the 70 kilometer prologue to determine start positions for the race. Drummond said the prologue was “an extremely tight, twisty and bumpy section of approximately 70 km finishing near the village of Gabane” and a short section of roads will take competitors back to Game City.

The race will start at 08:00 on Saturday, June 20 with a great deal of pomp and ceremony at Game City with a grueling section taking crews in a north-westerly direction to the Mascom designated service park (DSP) where they will have a 15 minutes de-control before heading to Malwewe.

From Malwewe, there will be some high speed driving before cars twirl south and embark upon a tight section towards the Mascom DSP where they will remain overnight and start a short distance away from the overnight halt.

On the final day, the first section of the route will see cars complete a loop that will circle back to the Mascom DSP for a compulsory 15 minute de-control before the survivors set out on the final section which takes competitors back to Game City.

“I think we have succeeded but the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000km Desert Race is a unique event that, over the years, has taken on the mantle of the flagship race in the Absa championship,” Drummond said.

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The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.