Racing enthusiasts will be able to watch the Toyota 1000 Desert Race from June 27 to 29 from 19 strategically selected spectator points along the route to Jwaneng.
After a request from the Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO), this year’s race was moved to Jwaneng, about 160 kilometres west of the capital city.
The race is one of the biggest sporting events on the national calendar. Apart from the locals bikers and motor racers, the Toyota 1000 Desert Race attracts hordes of top ranking competitors from countries like South Africa. The race is also a hit with racing enthusiasts throughout the world as most of them flock into the country to watch it.
Public access to the selected viewing areas will be highly restricted with tight security. Spectator points on the route will once again be open to off road motor sport enthusiasts at absolutely no charge. According to the route director Adri Roets, this year’s route is going to be dry and very sandy, complete with all the rocks bushes and tree stumps. The 100 kilometre route for the June 27 qualifying race will be used to determine grid positions which will take competitors from Jwaneng towards Sese before branching towards Mokhamma. The course then doubles back to the finish at Jwaneng. On day two of the race competitors will complete two loops of approximately 225 kilometres, with a 15-minute halt at the respective designated service point in Jwaneng at the end of the first lap. The route again takes crews towards Makhomma, Lefhoko and Maokane before doubling back to the finish. The third and final day will also see competitors completing two loops of approximately 190 kilometres, with another compulsory stop after the first lap.
This time the route heads towards Sese, Tshono, Tsonyane and Lefhoko on the way to the finish. Competitors in Class G in the production vehicle category will complete a 60 kilometre-qualifying race. Crews will then have to complete one lap of the day two and day three courses respectively. The Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race and an invitation motorcycle and quad race on June 27 and 28, to be organised by Botswana Motor Sport (BMS), are again included in the Dakar Challenge.
Those who emerge victorious at the Toyota 1000 Desert Race and the invitation motorcycle race will receive free entries into next year’s Dakar Rally to be held in South America.