document : Fresh initiatives mark Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race

Fresh initiatives mark Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race
information supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Media) 07 June 2014


Event moves from metropolitan Kumakwane to rural Jwaneng

Fresh initiatives to provide growth and future sustainability to the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race will be in place for this year’s event, round four of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, from June 27 to 29.

The race is the only marathon event on the Donaldson calendar, and is the halfway mark in the championship. The event carries double points counting towards the cross country championship, and over the years has grown into the biggest sporting and social event in Botswana.

This year there is an added attraction with an invitation motorcycle event to run in conjunction with the Toyota 1000 Desert Race. The motorcycle race will be run on June 27 and 28.

Both events count towards the Dakar Challenge which offers the winners free entry into next year’s Dakar Rally in South America. The Toyota Desert Race will be organised by the South African National Off Road Association (SANORA) which is the custodian, organiser and promoters of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship.

The invitation motorcycle race will be organised by Botswana Motorsport which was recently granted full membership of the FIA and FIM, the world controlling bodies for car and motorcycle racing.

“The fresh initiatives we have taken this year came after a review of last year’s race, and discussions we had with the Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) and Botswana Motorsport (BMS),” said Richard Schilling, chief executive officer of the South African National Off Road Association (SANORA) and president of the FIA Cross Country Commission.

Chief among the changes is relocating the event from Kumakwane, on the outskirts of Gaborone, to Jwaneng which is 160 kilometres west of the Botswana capital. Jwaneng is also home to the world’s richest diamond mine.

“The switch is based on a request from BTO,” Schilling said. “The Toyota Desert Race provides a major financial injection to areas in which the event is held, and the move creates the opportunity for rural communities to also benefit from the race.

“There is also a safety aspect in moving from a metropolitan to a rural location, and every effort has been made to make the route environmentally friendly.”

Schilling added SANORA would continue to collaborate with Botswana Motorsport in sharing skills and improving expertise in particular spheres of motor racing. This was an important element in the relationship between SANORA and BMS.

“The huge interest the Toyota 1000 Desert Race generates is indicative of the popularity of motor racing in Botswana, and cross country in particular,” Schilling said. “SANORA has always had a solid working relationship with the Botswana government, BTO, Botswana Land Board and the Botswana Police Services.

“The Toyota 1000 Desert Race holds a special place in the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, and we will be working closely with our Botswana counterparts to ensure the future growth and sustainability of the event.”

Schilling added that being a part of the Dakar Challenge had provided the Toyota 1000 Desert Race and the motorcycle event with added impetus. The Dakar Challenge also heralded Botswana’s acceptance into the international cross country racing community.

Schilling also paid tribute to Toyota’s loyalty to cross country racing in South Africa and Botswana, with this year’s event the 33rd edition of the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race. Botswana telecommunications giant Mascom will again be a part of the race as communications partner, with Puma Energy also renewing their association with the event.

The qualifying race to determine grid positions for the Toyota 1000 Desert Race will be held over a 100 kilometre route on June 27. Crews will then face two days of racing over a course of approximately 450 kilometres on June 28 and 29.

Both day two and day three of the race will be run over two loops of the course with a compulsory 15 minute halt at the end of the first lap. With the move to Jwaneng, the route for this year’s event is completely new and it will be the third time this season crews have ventured into uncharted waters.

The final route has been completed and is typically Botswana. This means a tight course with plenty of sand, thorn bushes and trees.

Follow the Donaldson Cross Country Championship action on:
Fresh initiatives mark Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race.pdf (395kB)

 3 images

Tags | Motorsport | Cross Country Commission (Media) |