The Toyota 1000 Desert Race will host round three of the South African National Cross Country Series (SACCS) from today to Sunday, with Selebi-Phikwe hosting the event for the first time.
Jwaneng has been the host for the last five years. After SACCS bikers pulled out of the marathon event, the limelight is now on the local special vehicles’ drivers to test their mettle against their South African counterparts on home soil.
In a new terrain, the three-day event presents double points bounty for the drivers.
A record three local drivers will line up in the special vehicle category. Julio Ferreira and fellow countryman Lebogang ‘Lepsy’ Mosope will go up against a very determined Nic Goslar of South Africa who could not complete the race in 2018, in a three-way battle.
Ferreira has been enjoying a good ride in the South African championships while Mosope is regarded as one of the best local drivers/navigators. Keith du Toit, driving a White Star BAT, on the other hand is pitted in a star-studded line up that includes South African John Telford, former champion Coetzee Labuschagnea and young Moosajee brothers, Taahir and Talha (Dunlop Stryker) who will tackle the event for the first time. Du Toit will fancy himself for a shot at the title as, together with Telford, remain the only drivers to complete the 1,000 kilometre race.
The drivers will start with a 60km-qualifying race this morning before a 440km on Saturday, and then a demanding 400km on Sunday.
On the motorcycles, the Botswana Motor Sport’s third and fourth rounds also present a double point price for the riders.
In the OR1 category, tough competition is expected between leader, Robert Pollock, second placed Mike Wilkinson, Kagiso Stephens and Wayne Berrie. South African champions, Ross Branch, Vincent Crosbie and Dartagnan Lobjoit will be eyeing podium finishes and will gain points from the event.
Toyota will look to continue its six-year dominance in the production vehicles. Last year’s champion, Giniel de Villiers will go against teammate in debutant, Hank Langtan and Shameer Variawa of Nissan.