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ABSA South African Championship 2007 Special-Newssection

This is the single-news section of the special of the ABSA South African Offroad Championship series 2007. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

ABSA 2007: Major changes to Toyota 1000 Desert Race route.

Competitors on this year’s Toyota 1000 Desert Race in Botswana from June 15 to 17 are going to need the new GPS navigational aid currently being used in this year’s Absa Off Road Championship. The organisers of the event, the Four Wheel Drive Club of SA, have changed about 80 percent of the route for this year’s race. The Toyota Desert Race is the fourth round of this year’s championship and signals the halfway mark of the series.

Chief organiser Skean Drummond said there were a number of reasons for the wholescale changes to the route. And, in mapping out the course, the organisers have worked closely with Botswana Tourism and other government departments.

"One of the chief reasons for the massive changes is preservation of the ecology," said Drummond. "The ecology needs time to recover from an event of this nature, and by changing the route we make sure that this happens. The route changes also ensure that the event takes in new locations within Botswana, and in this respect we have taken notice of input from Botswana tourism officials."

Drummond added that the changes would also lead to a more interesting race this year. Alterations to the route "leveled the playing field" and would provide competitors with an interesting challenge. The event will get underway on June 15 with documentation and scrutineering. A 50 kilometre prologue to determine start positions for the race proper will be run from 13h00, with the start and finish a short distance from race headquarters at Game City.

The race proper will start at 08h00 on June 16 with the Designated Service Point (DSP) situated at Lentsweletau. The route follows a circular pattern from the start and finish at Game City, with numerous spectator points. This year, for the first time since 2002, the event will cater for cars, motorcycle and quads. The races for all three categories carry national championship status.

"With three categories sharing the weekend it adds to the logistical exercise," said Drummond. "We have, however, been working on the event for months and so far everything has gone smoothly. We have a highly capable and experienced team, and we don’t foresee any problems."

2007/05/22 | 12:07 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Neil Perkins

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