Tuesday, May 24, 2022

New surprises in Toyota Kalahari 1000 km Desert Race

Botswana’s premiere motorsport challenge, the Toyota Kalahari 1000 km Desert race, is back again.
And this time around it promises to be even much bigger.

The race, which has always been held in the chilly month of July, had to be postponed to September to make way for the World Cup, hosted by South Africa in June earlier this year.

Apart from the dates of the race, this year’s event packs a lot of new surprises.

Unlike in the past when Gaborone, and Game City in particular, were the start and end points, the sleepy village of Kumakwane is expected to be the new home for the entire race for the next two years.

Speaking to the media recently, an official of the Four Wheel Drive Club of South Africa (FWDCSA), Allan Reid, said logistic problems had forced the race to be moved to Kumakwane as it would have been difficult to do such at Game City as there are a lot of developments taking place.

Apart from the change in location, Reid says another major change will be the absence of team Nissan, which has pulled off the race due to the economic recession.

The team has, for the past eight years, dominated the local motorsport race earning its vehicles the tag name Mantshwabisi in the process. However, in the absence of team Nissan, a new team, known as RFS BMW X3, will make its debut in the race. The car will be in the hands of former team Nissan driver Hannes Grobler.

Reigning desert race driver, Duncan Vos, will also not be missed in the race as he comes back, this time driving for team RFS Toyota.

The two drivers, who had always set the local motorsport scene alight with their fierce rivalry while both were driving for Nissan, will be expected to do it all over again, albeit in different teams this time around. Concerning the route, Reid says the race will start with a prologue, a 70 km race on Friday to decide the starting line up for the actual race on Saturday. He says this year’s race is spectator friendly as fans will get to see the vehicles pass by at least two times.
Saturday’s race course will be 250 km long while the Sunday course will be 200 km long and both will be run two times.

The Friday prologue will start at 12 noon while the races will start at 0800 in the morning.

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